Mastodon will make their long-awaited return in typically audacious style with a double album titled Hushed And Grim, and the Atlanta prog-metal titans have shared its first single, Pushing The Tides.
A dizzying, category 5 hurricane of dissonant riffs from guitarists Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds set to Brann Dailor's protean beats, Pushing The Tides has an intensity that recalls earlier Mastodon but with a typically widescreen approach to melodies and textures.
• Learn Mastodon's killer riffing techniques (opens in new tab)
The record was put together over a year and features 15 tracks produced by David Bottrill. With credits including Tool, King Crimson and Muse, Bottrill seems like a safe pair of hands to play midwife to Mastodon's über-dynamic sound.
Hushed And Grim will be released on 29 October through Reprise Records, and is the quartet's first full-length album since 2017's Emperor Of Sand. It is also the first release since the death of their manager Nick John, who passed away in September 2018 from pancreatic cancer.
In an interview with Revolver, Dailor said that John's death would be a key theme in the lyrics. Having already released a reworked Stairway To Heaven cover in his honour, Hushed And Grim presented an opportunity for the band to work through their grief on what is their most ambitious project yet.
“Of course, it's going to be a fantastical representation to mask the true emotion of the situation, but it's probably going to be Nick John-centric because that was our guy and we lost him and he deserves nothing less than an album's worth of material that's centred around his passing,“ he said. “That was a huge blow to us. We lost one of our favorite human beings, and it just came out of nowhere. It really sucks. So that's what we're thinking about – plus all this [pandemic] shit that's happening now.“
Hushed And Grim (opens in new tab) features super-cool cover art from long-time Mastodon collaborator Paul Romano, and is available to pre-order now. Check out the full tracklist (and artwork) below.
- Disc One
- Pain With An Anchor
- The Crux
- Sickle And Peace
- More Than I Could Chew
- The Beast
- Skeleton Of Splendor
- Pushing The Tides
- Disc Two
- Peace And Tranquility
- Had It All
- Savage Lands
- Gobblers Of Dregs
- Eyes Of Serpents