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Friday, March 27, 2009

Mastodon Release New Album “Crack The Skye”

Like their name implies, Atlanta quartet Mastodon are starting to become the elephant in the room in the new wave of American heavy metal.

Mastodon was formed in 1999 when Brann Dailor (drums) and Bill Kelliher (guitars),former members of Today Is The Day and Lethargy emmigrated to Atlanta from their native Rochester,New York and met Brent Hinds (guitars,vocals) and Troy Sanders (bass,vocals).

Stepping away from bands like Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold or Slipknot, Mastodon has evolved from their screaming, more radio-savvy contemporaries into one of the most respected metal acts in the country.
In 2000 they recorded a demo that is referred to as the "9 song demo",which actually featured the bands first lead singer Eric Saner on vocals.This recording was remastered and released by Relapse Records with the title "Call of the Mastodon" in 2006.After a short time Saner left the band due to personal reasons and MASTODON signed with Relapse in 2001.

The bands first official release was the well received "Lifesblood" EP in 2001,but since then the band has moved away from the music of this release stylistically.In 2002 Mastodon released their first official full-length album "Remission".

2004 heralded the release of Leviathan,a concept album loosely based on Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick.This is the album that steers MASTODON'S music away from the sludge/post-hardcore sound and sees the band experimenting and becoming more progressive.It is impressively well constructed,with each song flowing into the next,giving it a very natural feel.With slower,chunkier riffs,odd-time rhythms,cleaner vocals and a better production,it also contains a bona-fide epic with the 13 minute track "Hearts Alive".This album is literally driven by Dailor's hyperactive,fill-happy jazz/progressive style melded seamlessly with Sanders bass work,Kelliher's and Hinds' intricate and complex riffs and Sander's and Hind's alternating clean and growling vocals to tell the tale.

In 2005 two forthcoming releases were announced,the aforementioned "Call of the Mastodon",and the "The Workhorse Chronicles",a DVD containing interviews and concert footage,including material from the band's early days as a five-piece.Both were released in 2006.This effectively ended Mastodon’s deal with Relapse Records.

In 2006 Mastodon released their third full-length album "Blood Mountain",which was originally planned as one long piece of music,but which later became a collection of individual songs rather than another full blown concept album.The album contains guest appearances from NEUROSIS vocalist Scott Kelly,Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta
'Crack the Skye', their fifth studio album, does just that. For long-time Mastodon fans and newcomers alike, it's as accessible a metal album as you'll hear these days, and even musos who've previously turned their noses up at the genre may find something to appreciate here.

With two concept albums under their belt, rumours that 'Crack the Skye' would be based around enigmatic Russian monk Rasputin proved unfounded; instead, according to the band, the topics covered are related to 'astral travel, Stephen Hawking's theories, wormholes in the time-space continuum' and other abnormalities. In other words, not exactly your typical inspirational source material for metal-heads.

"Crack the Skye" is the fourth full-length album from the Atlanta-based, Grammy-nominated band and was produced by Brendan O'Brien (Rage against the Machine, Pearl Jam, AC/DC). Continuing to employ a conceptual framework to their songwriting, Mastodon's "Crack the Skye" is an apt successor to its widely-received, genre-crossing "Blood Mountain" album of 2006, marrying mythology with mathematical Metal to stunning results. Mastodon is currently touring North America on its Shockhound.com-sponsored "Crack the Skye" tour.

"Crack the Skye" is as follows.
1. Oblivion
2. Divinations
3. Quintessence
4. The Czar
5. Ghost Of Karelia
6. Crack The Skye
7. The Last Baron

Mastodon’s greatest strength is their ability to explore the progressive and experimental side of the metal coin while keeping the power and intensity of traditional metal. Highly recomended to all progressive metal fans.

Discography:
Life’s blood, EP (2001)
Remission, studio album (2002)
Leviathan, studio album (2004)
Call of the Mastodon, studio album (2006)
Blood Mountain, studio album (2006)
Crack the Skye studio album (2009)



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