Finally, metal’s getting a little lovin’ on the Music Blog! I’m not surprised that it’s coming in the form of Mastodon. The Atlanta foursome have somehow been able to bring metal a little bit further into the mainstream without sacrificing any of their credibility. Brann Dailor’s impeccable drumming, Bill Kelliher’s intricate yet chugging guitarwork, and bassist Troy Sanders and guitarist Brent Hinds’ patent growls have been mainstays of Mastodon’s sound long since the release of their debut album Remission. Things have only gotten better with Leviathan and Blood Mountain. The guys have now returned with Crack the Skye, an album poised to make the mighty name of Mastodon known across the land.
“Divinations” is the album’s first single, and a perfect choice at that. I see it as Crack the Skye’s “Colony of Birchmen,” having enough of a hook in the chorus to keep it stuck in your head but packing enough punch to keep the band’s devout followers more than pleased. Everything, from the song’s creepy banjo introduction to the face-melting guitar solo and breakdown at the song’s end, make “Divinations” one of my most favorite Mastodon tracks yet.
But what definitely does it for me is the song’s EPIC video. It opens with the band traveling through a harsh Himalayan landscape. The most metal expedition of all time is in search of artifacts dating back to an age when it was still cool to sacrifice virgins to vengeful spirits (or whatever it was the cool pagan kids did back then). The band discovers several of these relics during their ascent of the mountain, culminating in their discovery of a frozen caveman at the top. The rest of the video plays out as you would expect it to. Mastodon revives the frozen Neanderthal by shooting lightning at him out of a guitar which, as any true explorer would do, they brought along. The newly-rejuvenated caveman proceeds to pull out a guitar and rock out with the band as they truly brave the elements. Then he goes crazy and eats them. Oh yeah, there’s a Yeti too.
In the end, Mastodon’s given us another a great song backed up by a hilariously metal video. If you loved this, then go buy Crack the Skye. As always, it’s Mastodon at their best.