Crack the Skye review by Mastodon

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  • Released: Mar 24, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (391 votes)
Mastodon: Crack the Skye
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Sound — 9
A band as heavy and technically skilled as Mastodon were never destined to be a Groove Metal band forever. From the new masters of progressive southern metal comes a fiery debut of a new style. Like a lot of Mastodon's creations, this is a concept album dealing with Astral Travel, alternate dimensions, Imperial Russia, Rasputin and that most lovable of characters, the Devil. This is a complex album that may take a couple of hard listens before you can truly understand the genius behind it. Difficult riffs and eerie atmospheres make up a suprising amount of this album, but that fits, and only serves to further the epicness of this story-by-music. This is an incredible album, and probably one of the best of the year. My only criticism is that its not very accessible to people who haven't heard Progressive Metal or are used to Groove Metal's more straightforward style.

Lyrics — 7
A change-up of singers led to a different sound in the album, but this benefits the change away from heavier forms of metal, towards a more progressive mood. The lyrics are pretty narrative and deal mainly with the story in hand. Thats fine if you want to listen to the whole album from start to finish, but it does mean that various songs lyrics make little sense as singles.

Overall Impression — 8
Obviously there are holes in a lot of progressive albums, usually recurring ones like accessability and song length. Crack the Skye is no different. However, it is a truly remarkable album with some amazing features that take the best of Heavy Metal and Progressive Rock influences from Neurosis, Pink Floyd, Exhorder and The Mars Volta.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SGofawesome
    SGofawesome wrote: Many people don't know that Brann (the drummer) sings the verses in oblivion, and Brent sings the chorus. Troy doesn't even sing in oblivion. For best albums of the decade... 1. Machine Head - Blackening 2. Megadeth - endgame 3. Mastodon - Crack The skye 4. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To blue 5. AC/DC - Black Ice
    I'm so disappointed in myself for saying Endgame, BGWTB, and even Black Ice were the best albums of the decade. I was so blind...
    Lamb of Tom
    Good album this one, in my opinion not as good as their previous efforts because i prefer their heavyier stuff to be honest, but ive had it for awhile now and its provided some real good listening. Saw them a couple of weeks ago though and i wasent very impressed during crack the skye, everyone was just standing there staring at them, no-one moving was quite bored to be honest. All hell broke loose with the older stuff though! I just would've preferred a few more heavy parts like on the czar, when that breakdown riff kicks in its bloody awesome! Very good album all in all well worth a purchase.
    roarinflames
    someone recommended this to me and i never really listened to mastodon that much. one day i skipped town and ran off to college and happened to find this album in my backseat. as far as my opinion goes, ive never had an album mentally capture me the way this did. i have to agree from a new fan standpoint, that this may actually be one of the most sonically creative albums of the last decade. up there with opeth, tool, and porcupine tree
    mark3777
    This and leviathan are my favorite. A little disturbed that these are rated lower than all the other Mastodon album reviews
    All0utR0ck
    SGofawesome wrote: Many people don't know that Brann (the drummer) sings the verses in oblivion, and Brent sings the chorus. Troy doesn't even sing in oblivion. For best albums of the decade... 1. Machine Head - Blackening 2. Megadeth - endgame 3. Mastodon - Crack The skye 4. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To blue 5. AC/DC - Black Ice
    If you've seen the video for Oblivion or even read the liner notes, Troy sings the verse right before the chorus. The only person that doesn't sing in Oblivion is Bill Kelliher.
    kalamari
    Caseyz wrote: Jack_Sibelius wrote: Best metal album? Lateralus and 10.000 Days. Nuff said. Not even close. Opiate was their best effort by far. 10,000 days is much too drawn out and I'd much rather listen to Aenima then 10,000 days and Lateralus. They are epic repeats.
    Dakkstar wrote: Jack_Sibelius wrote: mindup wrote: the best Hard Rock/Metal album of the decade I dunno about that but its a damn good album, its definately pretty high up on my list. Best metal album? Lateralus and 10.000 Days. Nuff said. I fully disagree.. Tool is far too overrated. Trivium's Shogun, Mastodon's Crack The Skye, Hell even new Metallica is better.
    Eugh, that's put me off my lunch... starting to wonder whether I should ever return to Ultimate Guitar after reading this filth. Lateralus KILLS all of its contemporaries.
    osiris12
    This album rules. Mastodon progressed a long way from the sludgy guys we still love from Remission. Best Albums of 2000-2009: Machine Head - The Blackening (2007) Between the Buried and Me - Colors (2007) Mastodon - Crack the Skye (2009) Opeth - Ghost Reveries (2005) Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor (2005) Those are some of the albums I believe to be the best
    guitarmazdur
    i absolutely love this album!!! i cant get enough. the concept is cool to keep up with and the music really compliments it also. I've decided that "The Czar" is one of my new all-time favorites by Mastodon. Simply epic!!
    sg4ever
    Gosh, this music is so deep, intelligent, and well composed. They are in it for the art and not the mainstream popularity. I dig.
    SGofawesome
    Many people don't know that Brann (the drummer) sings the verses in oblivion, and Brent sings the chorus. Troy doesn't even sing in oblivion. For best albums of the decade... 1. Machine Head - Blackening 2. Megadeth - endgame 3. Mastodon - Crack The skye 4. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To blue 5. AC/DC - Black Ice