Those wonderful people who make up MASTODON have just released a new video, Tim Biskup-directed and animated ‘Dry Bone Valley’. The tune comes from the sludge/stoner/alternative metal outfit's latest album, ‘The Hunter’, recorded at Doppler Studios in Atlanta with producer Mike Elizondo, and released via Roadrunner/Reprise Records in September 2011. Below you’ll find MASTODON's video ‘Curl Of The Burl’, directed by Roboshobo (Robert Schober), who also helmed their amazing ‘Divinations’ and ‘Sleeping Giant’ videos. ‘The Hunter’ has reached position number 10 on the Billboard 200 and has sold, to date, over 75,000 copies in the U.S. alone.
“Fueled by Brann Dailor's jazzy, machine-gun drumming, songs like ‘Octopus Has No Friends’, ‘All The Heavy Lifting’, and ‘Bedazzled Fingernails’, despite coming in at under five minutes, are epically arranged, and the surprisingly hummable, bass melody-led swamp monster anthem ‘Creature Lives’ sounds like a SABBATHy, Lovecraftian [H.P., writer] take on JANE'S ADDICTION's ‘Summertime Rolls’. The closest ‘Hunter’ comes to reaching an apex is on the breathless ‘Spectrelight’, a relentless three-minute slab of pure unadulterated fury that will probably clock in at around a minute and half live, but it’s an album that doesn’t really need to peak, as it never promises a thing it can’t back up, boldly and loudly,” [commended James Christopher Monger, AllMusic – more here]
Born out of a mutual admiration for the MELVINS, BLACK SABBATH, NEUROSIS and THIN LIZZY, MASTODON was formed in late 1999 by drummer and vocalist Brann Dailor, guitarist and vocalist Bill Kelliher, bassist and vocalist Troy Sanders and guitarist and vocalist Brent Hinds. On the strength of a four-song demo, the band signed with Relapse Records in 2001. The EP, ‘Lifesblood’, was released that same year and the group's full-length debut, ‘Remission’, which followed in 2002, was received by overwhelmingly positive reviews. 2004's ‘Leviathan’, loosely based on Herman Melville's “Moby Dick”, signaled a turning point in the band's career, appearing on critics' best-of-the-year lists across the musical spectrum:
“Lurking beneath is an expansiveness more massive than anything found on the shores. The sound on ‘Leviathan’ seems bottomless and infinite in the best possible way: it’s not a dip in the pool; it’s a headlong cliff dive into deep waters,” [wrote AllMusic's Wade Kergan - read the rest of the review here]:
MASTODON eventually landed a deal with Warner Bros. to release their third album, ‘Blood Mountain’, which debuted at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and received a Grammy nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category for the song ‘Colony Of Birchmen’:
“What does it add up to?” [asked AllMusic's Thom Jurek out loud] “Something old and something new, a heavy metal that’s utterly gargantuan to wrestle with because it actually moves the style into brand new territory, an unfamiliar terrain which will accord it much name calling and crying of “sellout” by the unwashed masses who are more conservative about their steely brand of “folk music” than the Newport crowd was about Dylan [Bob] going electric. Yet, for those daring enough to take this in, there are true bloody treasures to behold and receive.” [He concluded - read more here]:
Fourth album, ‘Crack The Skye’, was released in 2009 through Reprise Records; the album debuted at number 11 on American albums chart Billboard 200, selling over 200,000 copies in the U.S. to date, making it one of MASTODON's highest selling albums: