Mastodon rule. For proof of this, check their bludgeoningly brutal-yet-surgically precise back catalog (2002′s Remission, 2004′s Leviathan and 2006′s Blood Mountain). For further proof, be aware that each of these efforts (well, maybe not Remission, but they were just getting started) are also concept records, about chasing metaphorical white whales and scaling terrifying mountains. They make rock mythical again, and for that, they rule even harder.
Their new album, Crack the Skye, hits stores March 24. While there’s still a concept (more on that in a second), there’s less pummeling this time around. Skye is still dazzlingly technical in scope, and there’s plenty of riffing, but there’s also newfound space. Songs are expansive, given room to breathe and explore quieter passages. For the first time, Mastodon don’t sound like they’re rushing to fit as many chords as possible into a song — tracks stretch to six, 10 and, in the case of album closer “The Last Baron,” nearly 13 minutes. And that is most certainly a good thing.
We sat down with guitarist/singer Brent Hinds and drummer Brann Dailor last week at the Russian Tea Room in New York. We’ll have a full-blown story and interview clips for you tomorrow, but we figured we’d give you a sneak preview right now. We asked Dailor to explain the rather heady concept behind Crack the Skye, and you can watch an exclusive clip of him laying it all out after the jump.