Well…This has been on my lap for a little while. I guess you can blame this on my laziness, depression, addictions, or my XBOX. Either way, it’s about time I kick this review out of the way. Now being a reviewer of music, movies aren’t quite my thing to review, don’t really know how to. So I’ll do my best to describe this journey through astral trips, Rasputin, hell, and absolutely trippy visuals. I won’t be talking much about the music, because you should already know how perfect this album was, unless it relates to what’s going on in the movie. Lets Begin.
I. Oblivion – The movie begins in live action scene where we’re taken to a city to which I can best describe as the city from the 1927 film “Metropolis”. And how the song progresses matches perfectly with what’s going on the screen, the vocals acting as the actors or maybe a narrator. Every now and then they’ll switch it up between live action and animation. My favorite part of this song is during the solo, which I now refer to as the wailing solo, because when you hear the powerful solo by Brent, it mixes perfectly with the woman in the movie crying. creating this beautiful emotional song. And it ends with his astral body floating into space, followed by the banjo…
II. Divinations – This song probably being the most fast paced and arguably the hardest hitting one. This entire scene is done in animation, with beautiful and visually striking images. And the movie keeps up with the song’s pace, star’s are flying at you and the screen is shaking with the aggression. And when you get to the chorus of “No Escape!” you can feel the intensity of the vocals by Troy, as you’re flung into the umbilical chord of the astral being. Visually striking images appear another after another, going deeper and deeper, best way to describe it, trippy as fuck.
III. Quintessence – The song begins with Rasputin holding with what appears a crystal ball, and the camera shot was done pretty well, cause you can just see his eye magnified. During this part of the story, the cult of Rasputin is calling for the character’s body and pretty much drags him to Russia via World War 1. During this song, we see the Rasputin cult conjuring over their little cauldron, Rasputin looking into the mirror and foretelling his own undoing. Now I’m not quite sure how, maybe it has something to with the astral body joining with Rasputin, signified by the body floating over Rasputin during the movie. It cuts out between live action and animation, again visually striking and mixes perfectly with the harmonizing beautifully before the chorus. The screen beings to thrash around with “Let it go!”.
IV. The Czar – We come to our first lengthy epic journey. This is done mostly in live action and is an absolutely a wonderful visual spectacle. We begin with Rasputin heading to the Czar’s castle, with guards following behind him. O I almost forgot, during this entire time they’re using like old style Russian cinematography being shot in black and white, and it flickers every so often. They also used old school silent film styles. Best example I can give you, is when the Czar pours the poison into the chalice, it soon becomes smoky and a skull is shown in the reflection of the wine. And once we get past the intro, we get to hear the viscous guitars of betrayal, the drums playing perfectly creating this epic moment, and we see the first assassination attempt on Rasputin being poisoned and then being strangled. And then the Czar goes into some kind of fit, which we soon learn that he’s being possessed by the Devil. And some reason we see skeletons dancing along the edges of the screen, which is pretty trippy and kind of funny. And then we’re brought to the outro, with incredible visual art and Rasputin’s ghost over the castle. We’re brought back to the future to see that the Devil, posing as a doctor, is trying to convince the family to put to rest the character of the film.
V. Ghost of Karelia – A spinning four faced head is the intro in this song. And we’re brought back to the cult of Rasputin which appears to be sending Rasputin to hell, to try and save the man’s soul. Visually striking images are shown throughout this song, which is unexplainable. We see the astral spirit being caught in I guess a tidal wave of the different formations of the moon. There’s not a lot to explain about this scene, it just kind of trips you out. I guess this is where Rasputin learns to what happened to the astral being, being represented by Rasputin looking into different frames of the future.
VI. Crack the Skye – And now we are taken into the bowels of hell, being shown various individuals being tortured by the fires. And now Rasputin learns he must sacrifice himself to save the soul of the astral being. Which leads right into the solo, with Rasputin summoning a sword and getting into a duel with the Devil. In which he strikes down the devil, well done. As the Devil is felled by the blade of Rasputin, it is followed by a viscous roar from Troy, representing the devil screaming in pain. We’re brought back to the future, where the devil is slain and disappears in a cloud of smoke, leading us into the epic finale.
VII. The Last Baron – This scene is mostly a bunch of animation and trippy visuals. One of which is the astral body folding in within it self, again and again. Images of bears shown in golden rings revolving around the screen, which I have no idea why, just looks bad ass. The revolving four faced head is now morphing, trippy. And the solo taking us deeper into the song, with a rotating clock gears. This scene using images from the previous songs explaining so far what has happened to our hero, pretty much a summary of what has happened. Showing are hero leaning back and forth, signifying he’s gaining back some conscience. The entire time, the face of the Baron is circling along the screen, realizing what has happened to our hero. And from what I have learned the Baron appears to be some kind of God. And we are brought to the end of the song, in which we go back to the Divinations trip, with the incredibly powerful and beautiful solo. And at the end we are shown the Eagle from Divinations, which I think I forgot to mention, opening his wings, welcoming our hero either I think death’s sweet embrace or back to his body. It ends with stars floating around with and the movie coming to a conclusion.
And there you have it. I did my best trying to explain what happened during the movie, but it’s almost unexplainable. This is a movie you’d just have to watch to understand it. But this is a must have for any Mastodon fan, and maybe something for any metal fan to pick up, who can appreciate a beautiful story being told through song. If the movie had come out before the album, I can tell you that Crack the Skye was a movie soundtrack. Also you’re welcome Rob for finally getting this out of the way and thank you to Mastodon for creating this so I can watch something while under the influence. Also, it feels good to be back.
The Rotating Clock