mastodonOne of the most anticipated albums of the year is Mastodon’s as-yet-untitled sixth album, which is due out sometime this Summer. Spin headed to the Tennessee studio where they’re recording the album, their first since 2011’s The Hunter, with Nick Raskulinecz. Drummer Brann Dailor says that there are some similarities between their past albums and this one. While their first four albums were conceptual in nature, their last one took a break from that. This one, Dailor says, is “a year, it’s a repetition around the sun and everything that’s transpired. Some big things have happened to us.” Calling the album “dark and creepy,” he says it was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, all of which are pretty dark and creepy.

It gets better. Mastodon have been working on the album for a year, which is the most time they’ve spent on an album. They’ve recorded 15 songs, and might consider releasing several of them as a more moody, slow “winter EP.”

 “It’s gonna be a summer release, so I feel like it needs to be amped,” Dailor says. “I don’t feel like it needs to be slow, and doom and gloom. That’s a winter album. We were actually talking about that earlier, like, ‘Why don’t we take some of the stuff that’s really moody and slow and do, like, a winter EP?'”

Slow and moody Mastodon sounds like a great follow up to the “amped” summer album, which Dailor promises will run the Mastodon gamut:

“We have a few really kickass rock’n’roll songs on here,” Dailor says. “We have the metal, the heavy-heavy. We have the totally whacked-out and bizarre. And then we have the super-hooky, big-chorus stuff that’s still bizarre and still Mastodon — but it’s super catchy. It’s wild, all over the place. There’s a lot of variety.”

Some of the working titles for songs on the album include “Tread Lightly,” “Buzzard Guts,” “Scent of Bitter Almonds” and “Aunt Lisa,” which was apparently inspired by Brann’s “wild aunt,” and features a “crazy robot vocal” from Troy Sanders. Is it Summer yet?