Starting off, Mastodon have always been an impressive metal act and have risen to the top of the top in less than 5 years after the release of the praised by many as best metal album of the year 2004 “Leviathan”.

Today, in 2009, “Crack The Skye” is here to prove once again that the band progresses and evolves in each record they produce, every time in a more epic way.

“Crack The Skye” from the beginning reveals that the band has set aside their more aggressive/heavy side, being more focused and progressive, as the album’s concept story deals with a soul travelling through space to finally arrive in the cold era of Tsarist Russia and inside Rasputin’s body, and in the end to encounter the Devil who attempts to steal their souls.

The album starts with “Oblivion” ,with Brann Dailor for the first time providing vocals on a Mastodon album, to continue through the thrash/progressive single “Divinations”.

The next song, “Quintessence”, could easily be on the band’s previous LP “Blood Mountain” and then “The Czar”, the epic 10 minute chapter of the record’s concept, divided in four smaller parts showing the story of the soul and Rasputin in a Tsarist divination.

“Ghost Of Karelia” will blow your mind away with its brilliant melodies and its creepy atmosphere and then the album ends with two more progressive compositions, the title track with a Neurosis influence and the 13 minute Last Baron which make “Crack The Skye” as the more diverse record in the band’s history.

This is also the band’s first collaboration with producer Brendan O’ Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots), giving a classic rock album touch to “Crack The Skye”, and in contrast with band’s previous work produced by Matt Bayles (Isis, Botch, The Blood Brothers) the production is still perfect and very suitable for a Mastodon album, it just sounds slightly different.

As for guest appearances, the band’s good friend Scott Kelly of Neurosis (which had also been a guest to Mastodon’s two previous LP’s) contributes vocals in the title track of the album. The album artwork is once again designed my Paul Romano, which depicts the fouth element (Aether), the element which Mastodon chose to associate the record with, continuing the baptism of each record they create (Remission: Fire, Leviathan: Water, Blood Mountain: Earth).

So finaly, what we have here is another epic masterpiece by an already achieved band
that has become the future of heavy metal.

Track List Line Up
01. Oblivion
02. Divinations
03. Quintessence
04. The Czar
05. Usurper
06. Escape
07. Martyr
08. Spiral
09. Ghost Of Karelia
10. Crack The Skye
11. The Last Baron
Brann Dailor – Drums
Troy Sanders – Bass
Brent Hinds – Guitar
Bill Kelliher – Guitar