December 17, 2020

Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON have recruited David Bottrill (TOOL, STAIND) to produce their eighth studio album. The follow-up to 2017's "Emperor Of Sand" is being recorded at West End Sound, which is located inside of Ember City, the rehearsal facility that members of MASTODON manage in Atlanta.

MASTODON's new disc will mark the band's first collection of new material since the death of longtime manager Nick John and the passing of tour manager Bob Dallas.

MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor recently told Full Metal Jackie's syndicated radio show that he and his bandmates wrote more than two albums' worth of material in the months leading up to the recording sessions for the new LP.

"We have an abundance of material, and we have a lot of really great things," he said. "The hardest part is gonna be picking the ones that are gonna go on the actual album, because there are too many songs at this point. We wanna put maybe around 10 to 12 songs on the album, and we have, like, 30. That's a lot. That's too much. [Laughs] But I think that it's coming into focus now. The ones that we are wanting to play more than the other ones, those are the ones that are gonna make it. But even with the ones we are really, really digging, there's too many of those too — there's, like, 20 of those. And there's always room for new ideas too."

He continued: "We were jamming the other day, and we have, like, 30 songs that we could be running through, and we started writing something brand new. So, it's like, 'stop.' But 'don't stop' as well. Because as much as I think it's kind of not the best to have one in the chamber, and I don't necessarily think that it's a great idea for us to release a double album, I don't see the problem with recording a full-length album, and then, because of the fact that we are not gonna be able to go on tour immediately, record another full-length album not far after. So I think that that's a possibility — that we will have an abundance of music, and we will have an abundance of stuff that we really dig that we can release to the public while we are still in this muck."

MASTODON's new rarities collection titled "Medium Rarities", was released in September. The compilation includes a new song called "Fallen Torches" as well as a bevy of classic covers, soundtrack contributions, instrumentals, B-sides, and live recordings on one complete package for the very first time.

"Emperor Of Sand" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That LP was nominated for the 2018 Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album," and its opening track, "Sultan's Curse", won the Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance."

Earlier in the year, MASTODON wrote and recorded a new song called "Rufus Lives" for inclusion in the latest "Bill & Ted Face The Music" movie.

"Bill & Ted Face The Music", which reunites Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in the title roles for the first time since 1991's "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey", was released in August.

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