After four fantasy-themed concept albums, the Atlanta metalheads came up with an even crazier idea for their fifth LP. "It's about nothing," says singer-guitarist Brent Hinds. Along with loads of monster riffs and frenzied solos, the album also makes room for moments of surprising gentleness. The title track, a tribute to Hinds' late brother, features delicate fingerpicking and paraphrases the Beatles ("All the love I make is equal to the love I take"). Another departure, "Creature Lives," pairs spacey synths and a churchlike choir for a sound that's unlike anything in Mastodon's catalog. "This album sounds like a mixtape," says drummer Brann Dailor. "But in a really weird way, it all jives together."
By David Peisner