Review: Mastodon – The Hunter

Rated:

3.5/5

It takes a special kind of band to put out an album whose gimmick is that it doesn’t have a grandiose cosmic concept behind it, but Mastodon do just that with The Hunter, their fifth full-length record and third major label release. But while such a claim hints at a “return to form,” it’s truly impossible for the band to entirely forsake the prog-rock sound that dominated Crack the Skye. Instead, Mastodon has moved forward, merging the chunky stoner-thrash of their early releases with the freewheeling spaciness of their newer material.

Opening duo “Black Tongue” and “Curl of the Burl” are awesome stoner-metal anthems, channeling the best parts of Alice In Chains and King Crimson; the latter has a certain hip-swinging tempo that will please strippers worldwide. “Blasteroid” is both a rager and an infectious pop tune, and “Stargasm” confronts the band’s hallucinogenic prog work with ample aggression. By “Octopus Has No Friends,” things begin to blur a bit. The title track and “Dry Bone Valley” sound like they came from a Mastodon song generator (in fact, there’s a lead on “The Hunter” that this author is almost positive exists in another Mastodon song). “Creature Lives” is a strange half-acoustic piece with a certain metalhead solidarity to it, but the closing three tracks are pretty unremarkable, and it takes re-experiencing the album’s first half to remember why one listened to it at all.

Which leaves Mastodon with a solid, if mixed, album. And that’s fine; in fact, it’s great. Rather than play into expectations and write 12 15-minute songs about H.P. Lovecraft or the Dead Sea Scrolls, Atlanta’s finest created a more-than-decent metal record. Lots of musicians dream of being hailed as geniuses; Mastodon seem over that, instead simply content to be musicians. CHRIS KROVATIN


  • Zombiechad

    5/5*

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maerd-Retaeht/100001642522058 Maerd Retaeht

    i would give it a 5 but what do i know

  • Murdoc

    Terrible Review.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1684233487 Nick Kanderis

    THE SPARROW. UNREMARKABLE? This reviewer is unremarkable.

    • Jeff Kunkler

      agreed, really beautiful song, powerful and emotional. And yeah a bit floydish in a good way. Love the searing nature of the guitar. 

  • http://twitter.com/ssergi22 Sam Sergi

    You don’t know shit

  • Frismschism

    What a worthless review. Did you even listen to the album?

    Revolver needs to hire writers with at least half a brain and ears that function properly. 

    …Piss off

  • SadisticDecent

    I think he is spot on.  this album really didn’t have nearly as big of an impact on me as their early albums, “blood mountain” and “leviathan”.  It just seems mediocre at best.  Don’t blame the writer, blame what he got stuck reviewing.  Let’s all just hope we can get some solid albums in the next coming months so frismschism can go back to trolling avenged sevenfold videos.  HAIL!

  • Double J

    Terrible Review.  This is a Great Album!!!

  • Nothing Clever Just Daniel F

    Personally, all I give a shit about is Remission. Maybe Leviathan — the rest is dated, including this and turns into instant background music. Just listen to Swarm of the Lotus. End.

    • Fuhfuhfuck

      Change the name of the band too, they’re just writing music for whiney vinyl collecting stoner rock fans. I stopped listening to them mid-way through Blood Mountain and saw them going in this lame-ass radio friendly, snore inducing direction.

  • El Stevo Diablo

    Everyone is due their own opinion. I love the album and have all released material and I see similarities but radio friendly? WTF, Mastodon is opening for Soundgarden down here and they rarely announce that they are opening, much less play any of the music. I understand satellite plays them, but satellite plays everything. If you know the back stories review guy, how can you not like The Sparrow?

    • Fuhfuhfuck

      cause it’s boring, it sounds like every other stoner rock snore fest, I saw it goin’ down that road. Remission, the end.

      And yes, radio friendly.

      • El Stevo Diablo

        If all you gave a shit about was Remission and maybe Leviathan, why are you wasting your time with an album that is three albums past your high crest mark, maybe four depending on your Leviathan stance. God o mighty Fuhfuhfuck, quit listening to them. Just listen to swarm of Locust and be happy.  Also, what radio station are you listening to? Never heard Mastodon on a regular medium. End

  • Karaoke Drums

    (in Mr. Burns’ voice): “You’re fired!”

  • Bizz

    Curl of the burl an anthem? Spectrerlight unremarkable? You obviously know shit about music my friend

  • Bizz

    Oh and btw, just listened to Flaming Tusk and it’s sounds like a bunch of retards stole guitars and started to hit the strings. No rhythm, no melody, no speed…..crap

    • http://www.flamingtusk.com Zosimus

      Are you trying to claim that a bunch of retards stealing guitars and making horrible noise with them wouldn’t be METAL AS FUCK? Because obviously mental retardation is metal, theft is metal, and offensive noise is metal. So I’d say that if you’re not listening to incoherent noise produced by mental detectives with stolen instruments then you’re just a poser hipster suburbanite dipshit loser. RETARD KLEPTOMETAL OR DEATH

      • Bizz

        Ah you see, you’ve just proved my point. People not smart enough to understand that any kind of music, even the most aggressive metal should never be just “noise”. Noise is not music. Noise is what people who don’t have talent or skills make. If you want to make noise, go in your mom’s basement where you probably live anyway. I’d like to see members of Black Sabbath telling everyone that they just made noise…..and that’s what metal is about. yeah…..right. People who don’t understand what they’re talking about shouldn’t be allowed to write album reviews that include completely incoherent ideas and personal impressions that have no backing. GO BACK TO MAKING NOISE NOW, THAT’S ALL YOU’LL EVER DO.

        • Hoss

          Is it ever surprising to you that a person with you’re obvious level of intelligence has to turn to absurd cultural cliches to explain, the shame worthy ignorance, of not assimilating to what you consider to be metal. Welcome to the mind-bending reality of music, one man’s noise, is another man’s metal. Since we have submersed ourselves into the lives of middle school metal-heads, I have taken the liberty of composing a few statements in response. 1)  I bet Black Sabbath wouldn’t mind telling everyone they made quite a bit of “noise” in your mothers room last night. 2) Are you related to Chad Kroeger? I can see the resemblance in how much I wish you would Shut the Fuck up! 3)  I hate to question the legitimacy of your moral high ground, but did Satan die and appoint you high and unholy czar of everything metal?  4) last but not least Hail Satan, and Fuck you.

          • Bizz17

            mmmmm yeah…ok. I’m sure this probably made sense in your head….

          • Bizz

            and again, you’ve just proven my point, that people who can’t understand the difference between noise and complex, meaningful music shouldn’t be allowed to write public reviews. One man’s noise isn’t another man’s music, it’s just stupid noise, period. And no I’m not the czar of everything metal, but I actually listen to all music before making a judgement. Chad Kroeger? Really? And I’m the one who uses cliches? You’re the cliche Satan boy….

  • Bedazzled

    If you think “the closing three tracks are pretty unremarkable…”  I’d suggest listening to Bedazzled Fingernails and Spectrelight a few more times.  Two highlights imo.

    • Bizz

      FUCK YEAH

  • http://www.facebook.com/foreverthegreatestloser Jimbo Slice

    I’m beginning to question my subscription. Any publication that describes an album like The Hunter as “unremarkable” and a song like Blasteroid as a “pop tune” while not being able to put out an issue without a six page blowjob to faggot, poser groups like BVBs is not a very competent publication. Chris, I don’t know what pop tunes you have been listening too but if the chorus goes “I want to drink some fucking blood,” it’s not a pop song. Try again. 

    I’m just going to go fill out a subscription for Metal Hammer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664163473 Ben Chronister

    speaking of generators, I’m beginning to wonder if every one of Revolver’s reviews aren’t written that way.