Sound — 8
"The Hunter" is the sixth studio album by the Seattle based metal band Mastodon and like the gigantic creature the band are named after, this album is huge too. "The Hunter" marks a return to form for the band from 2009s experimental album "Crack The Skye", which focused more on 70s style progressive rock than the harder sludgy metal that characterized the bands sound for over a decade, which was hit and miss for some fans. That said however you can hear moments of "Crack The Skye" shine through on "The Hunter" and these moments work well played off the harder moments. The album is a lot more focused than they're previously self described spastic sounding songs, song structure and style stick to themes but never become formulaic which keeps up the interest. You will not be bored by this album.
Lyrics — 7
Mastodon are a band constantly evolving and to compare this to previous albums would be pointless as "The Hunter" is a combination of many different things. The old humor shines through with strange song titles like "The Octopus Has No Friends" and some questionably weird vocal deliveries, this will make you smile more than cringe though. Evolution breeds improvement and this album shows that, the singing here is way more expressive and emotive than before and the general delivery of the songs and performances are amazing as usual but that said there are some down points, not every song is that good, after a strong opener in "Black Tongue" and "Curl Of The Burl" it lulls for about three songs, they're decent just not great.
Overall Impression — 8
It picks up again through with "All The Heavy Lifting" and continues strong till the closer "The Sparrow". All in all the album is quite strong and a welcome return to the heavier side of life for the band, massive improvement on the slightly uninteresting "Crack The Skye" but still leaves something to be desired from the "Leviathan" or "Blood Mountain" eras.