The Hunter goes straight for the jugular

By Nigel Hamblin |Staff Writer|

If Metallica and Pink Floyd made love and had a baby, that baby would be Mastodon.

The Hunter is an album that fans will be pleased with and an album that will welcome new listeners.

Mastodon is all about a nice blend of thrash metal and grunge riffs with trippy guitar effects. Every part of this album brings out Mastodon’s unique style; from the music all the way down to the song titles.

According to, The Hunter is “another universe bending, high energy masterpiece” and is “the band’s most ambitious to date.”

One of the best qualities of this album is the conflicting emotions the music triggers. For one song, you’ll get an aggressive tone, while another track has a somewhat relaxing and eerie atmosphere. Most of the time, the music combines these two emotions.

The Hunter is an album that will have the listener not knowing what to expect next.

The song “Black Tongue” opens the record off with a bang. A nice melody and elaborate drum fills start it off, followed by an aggressive guitar riff.

“Blasteroid” merges these two tones. The verse is upbeat and light, but takes a sudden turn when the chorus comes with chaos and screaming vocals. This is definitely a bi-polar song if there ever was one.

“Stargasm” is probably the best on the album that showcases the eerie, psychedelic, space-like feel that Mastodon does so well.

It’s layered with phaser effects, transporting the listener to what feels like another dimension on an acid-induced trip. Even the lyrics add to this effect, by speaking of dancing around the moon.

However, “Stargasm” isn’t the only one on the album that will trip you out.

“Creature Lives” will have you wondering if you’re on drugs or not. The first quarter of the track is purely a synthesizer repeating itself by playing high for several seconds and then dropping very low and dragging out.

You might even think you were watching a THX logo appear. This song has the slowest tempo out of any on the album, which is good considering how it gives the listener plenty of room to breathe.

When it comes to the grittiest track on the album, “Spectrelight” is the one. The guitar riff on this is dirty, and draws largely from sludge metal and grunge influences.

Among all the tight melodies and phased out guitar, metal-heads will be pleased to hear something that is straight to the roots while making them feel like thrashing around.

The vocals on this record are cleaner than what Mastodon was known for in early work, with the exception of “Blasteroid”. This change began in their 2009 album Crack the Skye and became more dominant in The Hunter.

Mastodon will benefit by capturing a wider audience and more attention in the mainstream – although it doesn’t really matter to die-hard fans.

In the end, The Hunter is definitely a step forward in the evolution of Mastodon and will make current fans happy while creating new ones.



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