REVIEW: Mastodon – “The Hunter”

Mastodon / The Hunter / Warner

Leaner, more conventional and apparently in the vein of “a super-heavy Led Zeppelin”, Mastodon’s latest cluster of progressive metal has a more tenacious backbone that force feeds possessed rhythms down your throat. In a delightful way, of course. The grizzled Atlanta vets flex each muscular vein they have in their body on The Hunter, letting classic rock testaments strut with a bit more rage and experimental bits thrust at a more confined yet frantic pace. “Curl Of The Burl” and “Stargasm” are percussive tempests thanks to Brann Dailor’s technical prowess (see his vocal take on the anthemic “Creature Lives”) and while “The Sparrow” and “The Hunter” unmask a radiant and wrecking angle of the group, it’s Mastodon’s attempts at breaking the rope – which binds what little restrictions they used to have – that truly invigorates their fifth studio disc.

“Black Tongue” and “Bedazzled Fingernails” let loose some ominous fret work straight from Rifflandia that eject vocal choruses fit for the band’s proclamation that kids will break speakers to this record. And they will; “Spectrelight” boasts rapid-fire guitars that in a way slither along to Troy Sanders’ vindictive howl before the drums bash the tempo into a series of fleet breakdowns. The Hunter’s signature rarity is its only two-minute piece, “Blasteroid”, which boasts a rather slender stoner-rock tone before it morphs into a punk metal outbreak with “I wanna drink your f*cking blood” roaring out of the speakers. The delivery is perennial and the connection is a piercing blow to the spine.

Download: “Spectrelight”, “Blasteroid”, “Black Tongue”

 

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