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American heavy-metal act Mastodon have revealed some juicy details about their forthcoming sixth studio album. Named Once More Round The Sun, the album is due sometime later this year via Warner Brothers Records.
The album’s title was revealed by Mastodon bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders during a recent chat with Paste Magazine. Discussing the album name, Sanders said: “The idea was generated before we recorded the title track on the record, but the title was thought up many months ago.”
“After we finished the two-year touring cycle on our last record, The Hunter, we were kind of gearing up to go back to our rehearsal space in Atlanta,” he added. “And we were starting the effort, the time, the blood, the energy, the months of driving, the recording and the long process between recording and the release day.”
Sanders recalled the feeling of a yearly cycle which has accompanied the band as they’ve toured the word: “We’re fortunate enough to do this again,” he said. “But there’s this feeling of this yearly cycle. It’s not a bad thing. We get to go tour a bunch, we get to record a bunch of songs we love. It’s embracing the positive—the wonderful side, to be able to have the same four dudes who love doing what we do so much. And like anything in the Mastodon world, it’s open to interpretation.”
Once More Round the Sun was recorded in Franklin, Tennessee late last year, with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Rush, Alice in Chains) at the helm. Sanders told Paste that the album will be an hour of pure Mastodon, with no central theme but plenty of kick: “We’re all over the world as far as themes go,” he said. “But there are a few sprinkles of epic goodness.”
In 2013 Mastodon revealed that their next studio album would continue on from where 2011's The Hunter left off. Sanders addressed this claim, stating:
“A lot of people ask us if it kicks off where The Hunter left off, and to a large degree, I suppose yes. We recorded it and took it on the road with us, and then we headed back to our rehearsal space and started working out ideas. I’ve had a lot of time to ingest this record, and it’s solid. It’s a large slab of granite. I’m once again completely proud of these guys.”
Last year the band also said that they had “25 to 30? new tracks ready for the album. Sanders has now revealed that the Once More Round The Sun sessions have left the band with an extra 30 minutes of material, which Sanders hopes might see a release as a future EP.
“We didn’t want a 90-minute album,” he said. “We like to record around the 60-minute mark. That’s what our favorite records are. We’re in love with all 15 of [the songs], so they might all see the light of day in some platform or another.”
Shedding light on some of these songs, Sanders revealed that new track Diamonds in the Witch House features a guest spot from longtime collaborator Scott Kelly of Neurosis. “I think subconsciously that we’re trying to involve him with every album enough to have a full set of songs eventually,” Sanders said. “I think his performance is great, his part still gives me chills. That’s a great sign.” One of Sanders’ other choice tracks is called Ember City.
Once More Round The Sun is still without an official release date. Mastodon were in Australia recently, headlining Soundwave 2014.