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The Hunter

4.3 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

The Hunter, the follow-up to 2009's critically embraced Crack The Skye, was recorded in the band's hometown of Atlanta as well as in Los Angeles with producer Mike Elizondo. As with all of their albums, Mastodon, which is bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Keliher, and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor, decided to take a completely different tack and musical approach to the music on this album. The band feels confident that fans will be excited and fulfilled by what they will hear.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B005DKLPF6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,202 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Hunter is the long-anticipated follow-up to 2009's Crack the Skye, one of Mastodon's finest achievements in their career. After exploring the limits of progressive songwriting with complex arrangements, excellent vocal melodies, and a perfect balance between heavy and melodic passages, the band decided to pursue a different musical style with their new release.

This album marks an important step in the band's evolution. It was mixed and produced by Mike Elizondo whose resume includes non-metal artists like Dr Dre, Eminem, and 50 Cent. Worry not, though, the mix is spectacular and the sound clarity amazing (though I prefer the more dynamic production on their earlier work by far). However, Elizondo has definitely pushed Mastodon into writing shorter and less complex songs with heavier emphasis on melodic chord progressions and hook-filled arrangements. There is not a single song that reaches six minutes; the writing is more immediate and to the point. Actually, many of the songs are around the three-minute mark, with "Blasteroid" being even shorter: a punk-infested drive, simple yet powerful guitar work, and melodic vocals balanced out by aggressive singing make up the composition.

The stylistic change in the band's sound and style cannot be entirely attributed to their new producer, however. They also have a new cover artist and they've changed their method of writing. While albums like Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye were painstakingly composed and took a long time to produce, The Hunter was recorded in only a few weeks. Also, the songs were largely written on the road while the band was on tour with Alice In Chains.
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Format: Audio CD
Some initial words on the DVD content of the Limited Edition version: If anyone is expecting a long "making of" documentary like the one included in the "Crack the Skye" package, you may be a little disappointed. Yes, it does include such a program, but it is very short compared to the previous release, clocking in at only a few minutes. Beyond that, a song by song commentary is also included, but it is only Brann Dailor sitting outside on a chair (presumably at night time), giving his thoughts on each track. No other band members appear in these segments. The music videos included are the "Black Tongue" clip, which was available online for some time and is essentially just the artist creating the album cover's wood statue/head. Also included is the totally hilarious "Deathbound" video, which is a grand violent spoof of the old children's show, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". Oddly, again Brann is the only one who appears, and only in the very beginning before the puppet mayhem begins. The remaining video is billed as a "psychedelic visualizer", and it is only for one track, the song "Stargasm". For some reason I believed that this trippy screen production would accompany the whole album, much like the website version, but sadly it does not. That wraps it up. No official video to "Curl of the Burl" or anything else. I don't want to express that anything here was not well done, but there is just not enough content compared to the previous release.

As for the album itself, at first take the songs are shorter and perhaps less developed than those on "Crack the Skye", but the brutal intricate beauty is well intact. Brann's drumming is truly epic in scope.
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Okay, so I see a lot of other Mastodon fans crying that they've sold out or some crap like that. Every time a band decides to change things up, they're labeled sell-outs. Well, I'm here to prove those accusations wrong. I listen to The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deftones, Melvins, Black Sabbath, Meshuggah, Death, Slayer, Helmet, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Machine Head, Tool, Rush etc. Can you see where I'm going with this? Each one of these bands have experimented and its opened my eyes up a lot. Music gets stale if it's the same style on every album, experimentation is key. I'm just getting into Mastodon and I've actually listened to some stuff from Remission and Leviathan. Remission was actually the other Mastodon album I ordered (the deluxe version) but it hasn't gotten here, yet but I love the songs on that album, too. That one and The Hunter are my first Mastodon albums. Anyways, honestly, I liked the material from those albums and The Hunter. I fell in love with each one of these tracks on the first way through, although 3 of the songs I had heard prior.

The point? You have to be open-minded to growth and experimentation to like this album. Sorry, but being a metalhead elitist will get you no where with this record. Be open to all forms of metal and rock. The sludgy riffs are still here but they're a bit more clean, I should say. Some guy on youtube described the riffs as "Crunch, sludgy, melted-candy-bar-in-the-sun guitar riffs." He was describing Mastodon's riffs as a whole on all their albums but this comment was made on a Curl of the Burl upload. Well, a Mastodon fan that actually liked the album.
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