Sound Kisses Sight

Crack The Skye is the title of Mastodon's new album. More yelling than growling, more solos, and as always solid consistency from song to song with a theme and amazing artwork to joint it all together. Paul A. Romano who has handled all their album artwork since Lifesblood (2001) to the aforementioned Crack The Skye, completes the dark and damp aesthetic of the band.

The sound reminds me of a swamp; in fact, it reminds me of Swamp Thing, a sludge of many natural things cohesively held together to form a clear, discernible figure, that at first glance might frighten the observer. Swamp Thing, like Mastodon's sound, is also intelligent; he was a scientist named Alex Olsen. Dr. Olsen was accidentally exposed to chemicals that altered his physical and biological appearance. By accident, I mean that it was accidental he lived; as it was Damian Ridge's intention to kill his colleague.

Um. back to Mastodon. (The inner geek sometimes gets out of hand).

I love when music and art wed one another. Yes and Roger Dean, Radiohead and Stanley Donwood, Tool and Adam Jones, Converge and Jacob Bannon, even Aesop Rock's recent steady collaboration with Jeremy Fish or The Mars Volta's to Jeff Jordan seems a match made in mathematic precision of perfection. It gets to the point when you see the art and in your head the music immediately hums to life; or vise versa, when you listen to the music and images of the particular corresponding artist pass over your mind's gallery. With the obvious exceptions of Bannon and Jones who are part of the Band they create art for, the remainder I listed hold a certain intimate affiliation, as if they were part of the band or artist. In many ways they are and in this information age of downloading and dematerialized consumption of media I find it valuable to the tangible CD, when thought and creativity is poured onto the concept of the artwork and how it relates to the album itself.

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