Published May 05, 2011You would think that after having announced earlier this morning (May 5) that they would be opening up for the almighty Soundgarden in July, we would be tapped for news on tripped-out Atlantan metalheads Mastodon. Well, you'd be wrong. Two years after releasing the highly conceptual Crack the Skye, the band are hard at work on a new set of heavy tunes.
A recent interview with drummer Brann Dailor reveals that the outfit have started work on their fifth album, but unlike their last polyrhythmic, meter-changing headbanging session, this latest disc is primed to be a little more straightforward.
"It doesn't seem as proggy," the drummer told Noise Creep. "There's moments, but it seems more riff-oriented. It seems a little more stripped down. [2004's] Leviathan was a little more stripped down, and it feels like that to me. Everything always changes once you go in the studio, but at the moment it seems like a really super-heavy Led Zeppelin or something. It has a lot of that [John] Bonham-esque groove to it, but really heavy and dark."
While the song structures might not be as complex, following in the footsteps of past work, the lyrical narrative is shaping up to be a heady one. Though he doesn't shed light on the specifics, Dailor hints that the as-yet-untitled album will deal with themes of mortality.
"I feel like it's a classic story about redemption. It's a mythology that's invented because we care so deeply as human beings for one another, it's hard to think that you just go into a hole [after you die] and that's it. So you want to see your loved ones be exalted in some way, or be a part of something that's much more grandiose."
With the group still in the songwriting stage, it's likely going to be a while before the album drops, but there is still some new Mastodon-related material to look forward to in the near future. Guitarist Brent Hinds will be issuing material from a couple of his side-projects on a new two-disc set this June.
Pitchfork reports that the collection features Fiend Without a Face, a ""rockabilly/porno/metal concoction" on one disc, with West End Motel, a more rootsy, bar ballad band on the other. The double-set will be issued June 7 on Rocket Science Inc. You can check out the tracklisting below.
Fiend Without a Face - Fiend Without a Face:
2. "Black Grass"
3. "Green Slime"
5. "Bank Robbin Bandits"
7. "Hot Rod"
8. "New York"
9. "Don't Like"
12. "Get Straight"
West End Motel - Don't Shiver, You're a Winner:
1. "The Confident Wino/...And We Are Here to Entertain You"
2. "The Devil Called Me Tommy"
3. "I Like It a Lot"
4. "She's on Fire"
5. "Under My Skin"
6. "Silly Old Song"