Crack the Skye by Mastodon was released in March of 2009. The First time I heard of Mastodon was on a video game review for the most recent Guitar Hero. At the time I thought nothing of it. As I started working this summer I happened to hear a song on a local radio station. The music was nothing terribly new, at first I just passed it off as another Black Sabbath type metal band. As the song continued I was completely sucked into the story and I had to know who this band was. After a few minutes of searching the web, I found that the song was Oblivion.
I quickly acquired the album and have listened to it at least once every couple of days since. ITS AMAZING!
As a drummer I appreciated the percussion in this album because the guy never stops. Even though the drumming isn't really flashy, it's very interesting to listen to. I am also a person who is very emotionally connected to music, for example: some music can make me cry.* Along that vein of thought, this cd has an amazing urgency to it, even though it sounds/feels very ethereal it is always forward moving.
The real hitter on this album is its lyrical content. This was very different from the band's 3 previous ones. All seven tracks fit together to tell a three tired story. The use of metaphor is hugely important, the album it self is dedicated to the lead singer's sister Skye, who committed suicide a few years ago. The 7 tracks demonstrate the seven stages of grief that people go through after the loss of a loved one.
The most obvious plot line in the album is a story of a paraplegic boy who travels around in a state disconnected from his body. He accidentally looses his connection to his body and gets sucked into a wormhole. He ends up meeting Rasputin and together they attempt to get the boy back to his body along the way they run into various obstacles. I'm not going to spoil the story and say if they are successful at this or not.
The final plot aspect in this CD is a artistic look at the fall of the last Czar of Russia and the rise of Communism. All of these metaphors run through the entire album making it a very interesting listening experience.
Pick it up, enjoy it!
*If you can find out one of the songs that makes me cry I'll give you something. (might be money, might be a hug, might be a punch in the stomach depends on my mood) It's not a song from this cd or band by the way. If it was that would be strange