I'll be the first to admit I'm a little late to the Mastodon party. Metal is just not my thing, and metal fans are often off-putting (as if hipsters were any better). Mastodon, however, doesn't really give a shit about all that. Their new single "Divinations" hit the Interwebs last night, much to my delight. I am already highly anticipating the release of their new album, Crack the Skye, in March, and "Divinations" does nothing but bolster my overall giddiness. With "Divinations," the band unleashes a fury of super-duper '80s butt-rock riffs splattered over singer Brent Hinds' scroggy, piercing vocals -- picking up right where they left off in 2006, all while carrying the weight of "new" (or nü or whatever) metal on their backs.
It's a menacing song that leaves you with very little time to adjust to how fucking hard it rocks. The opening guitar riffs are absolutely menacing (is that a banjo I hear opening the song?), bouncing off the walls and setting the tone for the track. Once the chorus kicks in, the song jumps to a whole other level with its absolutely irresistible thrash metal riff and Hinds screaming "no escape," in keeping with the perfect metal lyric formula of "very few words that are intimidating and futile-sounding equals totally bad ass."
I fully expect Crack the Skye to be just as awesome as "Divinations." I just cannot wait for the album to get here already. Job well done, Mastodon. I just wish more metal and hard-rock music could be like this. All it takes is a little splash of inspiration, a super-long beard and plenty of kickass guitar-playing. Having album art that incorporates bears, wizards, yetis, and sabretooth tigers in a completely awesome way doesn't hurt, either. (I defy you to combine all four of those things and make it suck.) I am just relieved Mastodon gets it on every level. I don't have to worry about them sucking or changing their fantastic aesthetic anytime soon, especially after taking a visit to their MySpace. Rock on, Mastodon.
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"Divinations" will arrive on Tuesday, January 27, as part of a limited-edition release, exclusively through mastodonrocks.com.