“The moment you walked in the room, my friend / The demons, they all went away,” Mastodon sing on the psych-metal stunner “Asleep in the Deep.” But the song’s eye-popping, stoner-friendly video proves that lyric false: It’s the epic journey of an ordinary house cat who meanders into a demonic catacomb filled with dark lord bullfrogs, terrifying rat kings and a brave warrior squirrel.
The clip’s co-director/conceptualist Skinner – the cover artist for Mastodon’s 2014 LP, Once More ‘Round the Sun – crams an impressive amount of plot into the six-minute video. After wandering from home into the city streets, the cat is lured into the eerie kingdom by a group of weird creatures holding a bowl of milk. The feline is transformed into a puppet and descends into a hell of mutant-fish, where it meets an amphibian ruler strumming a lute. Later, the kitty protagonist befriends the tragic hero squirrel, who loses a dramatic battle with a three-headed rat behemoth.
“This concept was birthed out of my curiosity about what a cat really does at night while we are asleep,” Skinner says in a statement. “Where do they go? Cats have a very mysterious myth to them and I thought it would be cool to explore that, as little nocturnal heroes. I decided to put a sort of Joseph Campbell hero myth spin on it and add some Jodorowsky psychedelia as well. I’m more than excited about the way it came out! I love it!”
The video – which was co-directed by Video Rahim and Shane Morton – will make its television debut at 4 a.m. EST on Saturday, June 20th via Adult Swim. In celebration of the macabre clip, Mastodon are selling an exclusive web bundle that includes an “Asleep in the Deep” T-shirt and “old-school movie-style poster,” both featuring exclusive art by Skinner. A pre-sale is ongoing, and bundles will begin shipping on July 1st.
The prog-metal quartet are still touring behind Once More ‘Round the Sun, with dates scheduled through early July; after a break, the band will resume touring in August until late September – including two opening slots for Metallica in Russia and spots at major festivals like England’s Reading and Leeds.