Mastodon have announced their ninth full-length studio album, Hushed and Grim, and celebrated the welcome news by sharing the effort’s storming lead single, Pushing the Tides.
Described as the group’s “most ambitious body of work to date”, Hushed and Grim will be released on October 29 via Reprise Records, and arrive as an extended two-disc offering.
With Pushing the Tides, Mastodon gives us a glorious sonic glimpse of what we can expect from the forthcoming album, thanks to Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher’s unabated electric guitar riffs, Brann Dailor’s unrelenting drum charges and an infectious vocal mosaic from Troy Sanders.
Starting as they mean to go on, the four-piece throw us in at the deep end with some deliciously dissonant guitar riffs, which blossom into the track’s main mammoth motif – a pummeling high-gain hook that is propped up by some suitably eerie lead licks.
Earlier this year, Kelliher sat down with Talking Metal to tease the album, which he described as their “biggest-sounding” offering yet.
“We all just kind of [went into it] with open minds,” he revealed (transcribed by Metal Hammer). “The result is amazing. It’s the fullest‑, biggest-sounding record we’ve done so far.”
When released, it will be the band’s first album proper in four years – save 2020’s Medium Rarities, which featured live cuts and instrumental reworkings of Mastodon tracks – and will act as a follow-up to 2017’s award-winning record Emperor of Sand.
The album itself, produced by David Bottrill of Muse, Tool, Rush and Peter Gabriel fame, was recorded by the group and assembled over the past year, and promises to tightrope-walk the sonic lines between rock, psychedelia, punk, metal, alternative, and prog.
It will also grapple with intense feelings of loss, loneliness, and longing – emotions that permeate through the album in response to the passing of the band’s longtime manager and close friend, Nick John, who passed away in 2018.
John was also the subject of the band's emotive Stairway to Heaven cover, which they released in his honor.
The album artwork, which you can check out above, was designed by Mastodon collaborator Paul Romano, who had previously worked on Remission, Leviathan, Call of the Mastodon, Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye.
The tracklist for the two-disc offering can be found below:
- Pain With An Anchor
- The Crux
- Sickle And Peace
- More Than I Could Chew
- The Beast
- Skeleton Of Splendor
- Pushing The Tides
- Peace And Tranquility
- Had It All
- Savage Lands
- Gobblers Of Dregs
- Eyes Of Serpents
- Hushed and Grim is available to preorder now via Reprise Records ahead of its October 29 release.