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on October 20, 2012
I didn't care for Mastodon until Crack the Skye. But that album was just so deep and epic and brilliant it quickly became my all-time favourite album, a title And Justice for All held for 20 years, so no easy feat. I won't say my expectations were high for this album, because I'd seen the interviews where they'd talked about the shorter, catchier songs. But still...
Remember what Metallica did after Justice? The Black Album. Shorter, catchier songs. Taking it easier on themselves. Not pushing themselves as hard. A lot of people liked it better, but a lot of the people who loved them before were disappointed. I feel this is a valid comparison here.
Mastodon, like Metallica at their peak, are/were expert songwriters, who stood above their contemporaries. Whether their tastes simply changed, or they were burned out, or simply lazy is for them to know, but the result is The Hunter. Shorter, frankly easier songs from a songwriting perspective. Hooks that are designed to stick in your head and maybe even gather radio play, at the expense of a better song. The bits and pieces are here to suggest they had another epic album in them, but just didn't bother for one reason or another.
The songs aren't bad, and by a lesser band I might even give this album another star(though still wouldn't enjoy it much). But like I said above, they just sound "easy" from a songwriting point of view. Simple 3-4 minute, verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus/done songs, and on to the next one. I've had the album a year and I don't find myself ever putting it in anymore at all. I bought the version with the dvd and never even put in the dvd, so I think that says that I truly never got into the album at all.
Also, as much as I love live music, I don't think these new songs came across very well live.
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Mastodon - The Hunter -- Amazing album.

This band is great in the fact they explore new territory with each album, they are a true band in tackling whatever they want to play.

This album opens up with a force, with 'Black Tongue' gripping you and taking you in. Then comes 'Curl of the Burl', a masterpiece if you will. Very groovy, drawing influences from Alice in Chains (Whom they recently toured with), Corrosion of Conformity, and if you can believe it, the Steve Miller Band, listen to the 'oh ohhs' in the chorus. Most songs are short in length, but I found myself repeating the tracks to listen to them again, so good call on the band to try this approach as musicians in this genre.

I found myself hearing some 70's influence on a later track, entitled: 'Creature Lives' , the got an influence from Steve Miller's: 'Threshold/Jet Airliner.'

Great album, it's going into my constant playlist, I like bands that do albums that take more then a few listens to get it all. These guys are fantastic. The recording is really well done, the band sounds so good, the drummer is fantastic.

Kudos Mastodon, I think you produced yet another masterpiece.
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on March 20, 2012
Best songs according to me are Curl of the Burl, Spectrelight, Black Tongue and Dry Bone Valley.
I love how they vary the singers on the songs, very refreshing.
I prefer Crack The Skye as a whole album but those four songs on The Hunter are better than anything on Crack The Skye.
Crack The Skye feels a bit more epic.
Other hightlights are Stargasm, All the Heavy Lifting, Thickening and Bedazzled Fingernails.
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on October 26, 2011
This album has licks and riffs that will have other bands burning with jealousy.
This may be the wrong audience to which to say this, but this album is
insanely "catchy".

I love Leviathan and Blood mountain and this album is right up there with these. If you are expecting Mastodon to get progressively heavier, you may be disappointed, but the music on this album is amazing and the singing stellar as always.
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on July 20, 2013
One of the best metal lps in the last 5 yrs. a little softer than previous efforts, but as badass as it gets. The deluxe is the only option besides the standard one. So I dropped the $50- what can you do.
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on May 20, 2016
Amazing album from beginning to end. If your reading this review do yourself a favour and buy it now!!!!
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on August 10, 2015
One of their best albums and a great buy!
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