Mastodon have released their seventh studio album, Emperor of Sand, through Reprise Records.
The 11 song, 51 minute LP was recorded in Georgia, and produced by Brendan O’Brien. Band members on the album include Brent Hinds (lead guitar, lead and backing vocals), Bill Kelliher (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Troy Sanders (bass guitar, lead and backing vocals), and Brann Dailor (drums, bass guitar, lead and backing vocals).
Leading up to the release of Emperor of Sand, the band faced issues in their personal lives. Bill Kelliher’s mother passed due to a brain tumor, Troy Sanders’ wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Brann Dailor’s mother went through chemotherapy. These unfortunate events helped to shape the records’ themes of time and mortality. Brann spoke with Rolling Stone:
At the end of the story, the person simultaneously dies and is saved… It’s about going through cancer, going through chemotherapy and all the things associated with that. I didn’t want to be literal about it. But it’s all in there. You can read between the lines.
Musically, Mastodon deliver an assault of hard rock riffs supported by ferocious drumming. Progressive elements in the composition and production lends a fantasy-world vibe to the material, which is dark and intense.
Emperor of Sand is currently available on Amazon. You can also stream the full album above for free, via Spotify.
In April, the band will begin a headlining North American tour with support from Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. For more, check out the Mastodon Zumic artist page.