Published Mar 30, 2017Nearly three years on from taking us Once More 'Round the Sun, Mastodon have delivered their seventh studio LP Emperor of Sand, which you can hear below.
Arriving today (March 31) through Reprise, the 11-track record finds the Atlanta metal outfit reunited with producer Brendan O'Brien, who manned the boards on their acclaimed 2009 LP Crack the Skye.
Mastodon also make a return to their conceptual album format, with Emperor of Sand telling the story of a desert wanderer that has been sentenced to death. Exploring themes of life, death and survival, the metaphorical tale was inspired by the band's family members' battles with cancer.
Speaking with Loudwire about the effect the disease has had on the band, drummer Brann Dailor had said:
"It brought us together writing wise...Bill [Kelliher]'s mom was going through cancer and he's kind of far away from her... And my mom's also sick as well and being far away there's not a lot you can do. You know we were done writing anyways, but we kind of needed something to occupy some hours of the day that would've been kind of us sitting there worrying about the situation that you don't really have that much control over."
He continued: "A good way to honour your people is with your art. We just would go down to Bill's basement, we got a little studio down there, and we just kinda riff out and see what we were liking and biting on, and low and behold a bunch of months later we had like 15 great song ideas that got down to somewhere about nine or 10 great pieces."
The band are also set to take the record out on the road next month, with Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles providing support. You can take a look at the complete tour itinerary over here.
Take in Emperor of Sand in its entirety in the player below. You can also read Exclaim!'s review here.