Mastodon are tough to categorize in the first place, but the prog-metal band’s upcoming eighth album sounds like it will be impossible to pigeonhole. Drummer Brann Dailor detailed the project’s sprawling sonic landscapes in a new interview with Metal Hammer, calling it “all over the map.”
“There’s some big, big heavy riffs that are happening, so that’s what I’m into,” he said of the LP, which is tentatively due out in 2021. “And then there’s some guitar gymnastics by Brent Hinds that have been some of the most difficult things I’ve tried to wrap my head around and play drums to.”
He continued, “So there’s some super progginess coming from him, and some really super pretty moments. But there’s some rockers in there, too. There’s some heavy, fast stuff as well. But a lot of it is kind of doomy. But that’s where we’re at!”
Guitarist Bill Kelliher previously documented their progress in a May interview with the RocknRoll Beer Guy podcast, noting that they had “20 rough songs” recorded for the project, which follows 2017’s Emperor of Sand. He also announced that they were asked to write a song for upcoming film sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music — and per Metal Hammer, their as-yet-untitled record will likely include that track.
Kelliher told the podcast he’d been “writing like a madman” for the album, and his descriptions of the music were equally wild.
“The stuff I’ve written, it’s not quite as note-y as [Emperor of Sand], but it’s definitely got a more like Neurosis heaviness, [with] simplified guitar parts,” he said. “And Brann … he always demos most of the vocal ideas cause he always has melodies and stuff like that… and he’s been singing on a lot of it, at least for demo purposes. The vocals are kind of like a ‘Asleep in the Deep’ style, kind of Radiohead-ish almost, like real melodic, a lot of vocal harmonies.”