Vinyl Vlog 001

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Welcome to the Vinyl Vlog!

Yes, it may seem like we're a little late on reviewing Mastodon's album The Hunter, but seeing as we haven't done a column specifically dedicated to the virtues of the fairer format in a while and Reprise was kind enough to offer us a copy of this, we just couldn't resist. Also, we were never able to give you our take on The Hunter last year. Better late than never.

The way this works (or the way it works for me) is that we review the album on two levels: the music and the vinyl into which it's pressed.

So what's to say about The Hunter? Well, we can start off by saying that it is a great album; one of my favorites of last year, in fact. Mastodon (or metal in general) are known for their intricate concept albums but, on The Hunter, Mastodon seems to take a step back and just have fun. This is evident because The Hunter seems a little less focused than the band's previous releases. The key to enjoying The Hunter is to anticipate what comes mid-way, because for some reason the clunkers of this studio session all appear in the early playing of the album, beginning starting with “Blasteroid.” With the benefit of hindsight, it's a shame really, since the outtakes (found on the deluxe edition) are gems. In any case, things pick up again at “Dry Bone Valley,” and the album is a home run from there, all the way to “The Sparrow.”

I've constantly been told that Mastodon are metal for people who don't like metal, so I don't know if I'm fit to review this, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunter. It was part of the cream for me, which is saying a lot since I consider 2011 to be a great year for music.

With such an elaborate album lodged in the grooves of the LP, it's a shame that the standard vinyl edition is so vanilla. On the standard edition, you get the essentials: the cover in great glossy format, an insert and the album on standard weight and black vinyl. No gatefold, no color, no booklets, no bonus tracks, and not even a download coupon, which is unacceptable for a release in 2011 that costs twenty-five dollars. For that kind of money, it's no wonder that albums get "torrented" these days; especially a stellar album like this one.



The Hunter
is out now. Buy if here on Amazon .

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