Alright so I had heard of Mastodon before checking out Crack the Skye, but I had only heard about them. Not heard them directly. That is until I was listening to the Requiem Metal Podcast (if you haven't listened to Jason and Mark go download their shows off of iTunes NOW!) Best of 2009 show and they played The Czar. This 11 minute monstrosity peaked my interest so I got the album. I've given it a few listens and its all around a great album!
I know I'm late to the party since it came out in 2009 but oh well. The album has a lot of melody and a melancholy atmosphere throughout which at least to me really rubs off on the listener.
I'm not really a prog fan myself but this album is great fun to listen to and is accessible enough that you can have your little sister hear it and not look like someone just pulled a knife on her.