While the first four Mastodon albums had overarching themes (fire, water, earth, the ether), their first full-on concept album was 2011’s Crack the Skye, and while polarizing, has many fans. In an interview with Rolling Stone, drummer/singer Brann Dailor talked about their next album, which will also be a concept album. calling it a “desert-like version of the Grim Reaper, it’s as he’d said earlier, about cancer. As the magazine says:
The main protagonist within the new album’s lyrics is handed a death sentence from a desert ruler, and then wanders an arid wasteland – a metaphor for illness and doom. “At the end of the story, the person simultaneously dies and is saved,” says Dailor. “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.”
Pairing up, once again, with Brendan O’Brien, who worked with them on Skye, some song titles include “Show Yourself,” “Precious Stones, “Steambreather” and “Your Own Blood.” The article also suggests that the band may, for the first time, play acoustic instruments onstage. O’Brien says that he had the band record the songs as they were originally arranged, then worked on editing each song into a tighter piece. While that sounds from the get-go like we’ll have another album of shorter songs, like their last two albums, remember that Crack the Skye had two songs that were longer than 10 minutes. Either way, we’re even more excited to hear some new stuff live when they play in Philadelphia in May.