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Crack the Skye (Deluxe Version)

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Editors’ Notes

This Brendan O’Brien-produced album ambitiously pieces together epic metal songs arranged with progressive tempo and key changes. The lyrics unravel a fantastical story about a paraplegic who can only travel out of body. He burns his anchor to reality and is lost in space until getting sucked through a wormhole and into the spirit world where ghosts send him to Tsarist Russia, putting his soul inside Rasputin’s body (who is murdered after trying to usurp the czar). The protagonist’s soul must then fly home while the Devil tries to trick him. The dark and brooding “Oblivion” unfolds with otherworldly sonic textures orbiting around jet fueled guitars, bludgeoning rhythms, and the menacing croons of Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds braiding together on darkened harmonies. The relentless juggernaut that is “Divinations” plays and pounds more fiercely than any other cut here. Scott Kelly of Neurosis fame sings the title track with a blood gargling timbre before “The Last Baron” bookends the album by bringing it all together with weighty closure.

Customer Reviews


With Crack The Skye, Mastodon prove that they are the best band making music today. Joinging forces with Producer extraordinaire Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine, etc...). The journey starts with the MASSIVE "Oblivion," a Tool-esque track in which Brann Dailor makes his vocal debut. We then move on to the banjo-laden "Divinations," which is classic Mastodon complete with Brent Hinds' chicken pickin' guitar and frantic pace. "Quintessence" is typical Don and probably the albums weakest link compared to the others. "The Czar" is an 11 minute, 4-part staple of sadness, melody, harmony and groove. By the time we hit the 4:07 mark, we've reached a heavy, funk-groove which really gives this tune special ingredient (can't forget the KILLER solo by Brent as well). We then move on to Ghost of Karelia, which has an intro reminiscent of the Iron Maiden classic "Wasted Years." This tune is Troy Sanders' tour-de-force, giving his odd "peak & valley" vocal delivery which somehow really works in the grand scheme of things. The title track is as metal as it gets on this album. Scott Kelley's vocals are terrifying and sets the mood. Fans of Remission and Leviathan will be satisfied with this track. The album culminates in the masterpiece "The Last Baron." A 13 minute epic that is the albums defining and best moment. This could be the blueprint for 21st Century Prog Music. All of the musicians are in top form here and have obviously been listening to their early Yes & Genesis records, thus proven around the 6 minute mark. What a tune! I've been a HUGE fan since Remission and although there will obviously be a backlash by some of their listeners, you can't deny Mastodon's ability to paint such vivid pictures with their music. I'm proud of them and what they do for fans like me who are just disgusted with today's music scene. Thank you, Gentlemen. It's much appreciated.

Crack the Skye

This album truly puts Mastodon into the upper echelons of metal. This album caps off their 4 "elements" albums; Remission (fire), Leviathan (water), Blood Mountain (earth) and Crack the Skye (air/space). The conceptual sequences of "The Czar" and "The Last Baron" are a welcome into the world of metal that is inundated with cliche 3 1/2 minute mindless garbage. However, this album should not be put into the same "prog" category as Dream Theater, Mars Volta, etc. Mastodon has again elevated themselves and will continue to do so.

Mastodon's Finest Hour

Not only does Mastodon manage to please the longtime fan in me, they also somehow find a way to improve on their design and push their work to beyond what I thought they could do. I wouldn't say that I'm a huge metal fan, but I enjoy Mastodon, and especially this album. Very proggressive, but they still maintain their sludge/shred roots that made me love them in the first place. I think many people will be turned on to the album through the single, Divinations, but I personally think that the rest of the album is better and more experimental. Yes, this is a short album, but don't be frightened, Mastodon uses all of their time perfectly, and they don't miss many beats. It's an incredibly satisfying album that deserves to be listened through in one sitting and in order, at least for the first time. The only things I found a little off were "Ghost of Karelia" and "Crack The Skye" which just seemed a tad bland, at least to me. However, they don't throw off the album, and it all wraps up nicely with the super-epic 13 monster-piece that is "The Last Baron". This album is a definite buy for anyone who wants to put some epic in their everyday life.


Formed: 1999 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Atlanta-based sludge/stoner/alternative metal outfit Mastodon formed in 1999 around the talents of guitarist Bill Kelliher, drummer Bränn Dailor, bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, and guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds. One of the more notable New Wave of American Heavy Metal acts, a genre spawned in the mid-'90s by bands like Pantera, Biohazard, and Machine Head, Mastodon's innovative, lyrically astute blend...
Full Bio
Crack the Skye (Deluxe Version), Mastodon
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  • $12.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Hard Rock, Metal
  • Released: Dec 03, 2008

Customer Ratings