If you take a look at the Contents page in ch. 01, you’ll see that with this we pass the equator of the story; what I like to call “The Great Battle of Kuki” commences. Depending on my current state of mind, this part looks either insanely overdone or utterly cool to me; but it does have a lot of female badassery and also girls with guns… so the overall rating has to be on the plus side, I guess. ^-^;
Hmm… I wonder what made Mamiya so angry? :3
Now for something completely different… The following doesn’t have anything to do with yuri, but I think you’ll live through it – seeing that you have two releases to make up for that, and we all need a break from manga from time to time. And this piece of news had brought me so much joy after a couple really tough weeks, I just can’t help it. ^-^; In fact, my last weekend consisted mostly of running from store to store, all like, ‘What do you mean, “It’s not in stock yet”!? It was supposed to be a week ago!!’, until I decided to purchase it on the Web instead. (Well… that’s Poland for you.) ^-^;
A while ago, I’ve read someone comparing Mastodon with none else than Dream Theater; at that time, the idea made me smirk. Well, after the fire, the water and the earth, time has come for Mastodon’s fourth album… and the last element: the sky. And I must admit, the above-mentioned juxtaposition doesn’t appear so laughable anymore.
The first tones of the album’s opener – Oblivion – bring a massive surprise. Mastodon not only have shed the untamed energy of the Blood Mountain era in favour of Leviathan‘s raw beauty, they have also taken that much, much further… and while some might not see that as an improvement, for me Mastodon have finally become a full-fledged progressive band. Because this album truly is beautiful, more beautiful than anything I’ve heard in a long while, and without the band turning into another Neurosis either.
Beauty unveils in the mysterious Divinations and Quintessence, to culminate in unbelievable The Czar, which might as well be the best thing that happened since Dream Theater’s Change of Seasons… honestly, after listening to this track, I feared for the remainder of the album; needlessly, as the sonic landscapes, majestic and furious at the same time, continued to spread throughout Ghost of Karelia and the title track Crack the Skye, up to the monster of a finale: The Last Baron. That was another moment of fear for me, and indeed, for a minute I thought that Mastodon might had taken the experimentation too far on this one; but just then, the erroneous guitar ambience turned into a straightforward and powerful riff, eventually leading to the conclusion; which is something that I truly find hard to describe… without perhaps looking back as far as to the glorious days of Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest… uh.