New Mastodon '70 Percent' Complete: 'It's a Masterpiece'

"It’s just a tasty riff-filled record, like what you would expect from us," Bill Kelliher adds.

Ultimate Guitar

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher gave an update on the band's new album, confirming major headway and some "tasty riffs" ahead.

Chatting with Backstage Axxess at this year's NAMM convention, Bill noted: "It's about 70 percent done I would say. We're just adding all the vocals now, and I think it's a masterpiece. I think it's awesome. It sounds great to me."

Adding he's yet to get fully involved with the record due to touring schedules of his side project Primate, Bill focused on the sound Mastodon's been mixing up. "It's got a little bit of everything, just like any Mastodon record," he said. "We've got about 15 songs and we have to like chisel it down to like maybe 10 or 11."

Kelliher elaborated further, saying, "It's got a lot of good melodies and really nice clean vocals. I hear a lot of Brann [Dailor] singing on there - which is great. It's just a tasty riff-filled record, like what you would expect from us. It's also a little different, cause we don't write the same record over and over. We try not to, we try to expand and challenge ourselves with this and that."

The album is currently tentatively due this summer. The group will also hit the US road later in April alongside Gojira and Kvelertak. Details here.

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41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn it, I'm so excited. And since NAMM was about 2 weeks ago they are probably closer to 75%..
    Whens this baby due? I too hope we'll be seeing more Leviathan mixed with CTS. Although the Hunter wasn't as consistently shining as...everything else they've done, tunes like Dry Bone Valley and Thickening displayed a side to them we never saw before.
    Agreed. The Hunter was a decent album, but I feel it's not up to the standard of Leviathan or CTS. I'm all for them developing new sounds, it's what I love about them. The Hunter just sounded too polished to me.
    Burnt Ice
    Yeah, I know what you mean. Absolutely agree. Everything up until CTS so far has been great in my opinion. The Hunter is just a weird album for Mastodon, and not in a good way. It's what happens when a weird band tries to do something too normal.
    I really enjoyed The Hunter, more than Leviathan actually. They change every album and I'd be surprised if they ever really repeated anything they've done in the past. After the last album, I feel confident that they can go in whatever direction they want and still put out a solid album.
    Crack The Skye was their "Masterpiece" to me...Epic album. I'm going to get killed for this, but I saw them in Atlanta last year on the Mayhem Fest and i wasn't nearly as impressed as I thought I would be with their live performance.
    i feel the same. saw them with opeth and ghost in 2012 and they were both much better live than mastodon. still, i'm excited as hell for the new album and have loved every release so far. it was just the live show that let me down.
    I agree! Hate to rag on them again but I saw them live with BTBAM and Baroness (had never heard of either band before) and they both blew Mastodon out of the water. Still a great show!
    Cant wait for this.People will kill me for saying this, but i think that Hunter is best Mastodon album.I cant believe all the talent they released on that album.People said that Hunter should be more metal.What is wrong with them.Mastodon is extremely heavy band which has this unique dark atmosphere which was further pronounced by adding a great melody's creating extremely epic and dark choruses.People should understand that songs like Bedazzled fingernails and Thickening are so morbid and unique, truly great Mastodon songs which are only possible because of their immense growth on Hunter.People should never underestimate power of melody and clean vocals and think they cant be "metal". And they said that this was extension of Hunter.Holy moly, cant wait.
    I love there other albums too but The Hunter was the album that got me into them and will always be a favorite of mine.
    The atmosphere on 'Hunter' was epic and unique, it totally held the songs altogether as a whole punch of epicness !
    Not sure why Mastodon get so much hate for their live performance, every time I've seen them they've killed it. Usually it's the crowd that's lackluster, no moshing, not even much headbanging, even when they play older, heavier material.
    It are the vocals. I think every Mastodon fan will admit that Brent Hinds can't sing live. And because he sings a lot of songs, a lot of songs don't sound that great live.
    Not an expert but I feel like they find it hard to recreate the mix. Saw them 3 times with two at a festival and these two were just cool but when I saw them at their own gig they killed it !
    I'm sorry but they get hate because they are not a great live band. They are AMAZING on the album but live the vocals routinely suck and Bill can be sloppy on guitar. Maybe they were drunk or something but I have seen them 3 times. Go see BTBAM, Gojira or Tool live. They play better than the album version, every show.
    hoping its better then the last one, dont get me wrong i liked the album but there was a lot of filler and it was lacking in sludgyness :p
    Flying Afros
    Still pissed that this mega tour with Gojira and Kvelertak is quite limited geographically. No one below the Mason-Dixon line is gonna be able to see them, unless they travel 500 miles. Still awesome news, can't wait to hear it.
    Glad to hear Brann will sing more my only request is that Brent NEVER EVER EVER sings again. I love mastodon but they seem clueless to the fact he is a horrible singer (especially live). Sorry to rain on the parade but they are amazing musicians they should be able to realize this.
    I happen to like Brent's singing. Not as much as Troy's mind you. But I still like it.
    Do you also like his singing live? I like sometimes love his vocals, but almost never live...
    He has his moments live. Not saying that hes ****ing amazing live. But I'm not saying that he sounds like some kind of dying animal or something.
    Yeah maybe I should backtrack a bit, on the albums he sounds good but when I have seen them live (3 times) he ruins it for me. I just can't get that taste out of my mouth. Watch this and tell me he doesn't sound like a dying animal:
    Edit:Apparently he had a throat infection for this show.
    Depends on the song. Sometimes the flavor fits, sometimes I'm thinking "who's abusing those poor cats on stage has that mic'd up?"
    I want Brann to sing more like this
    His King Diamond-esque falsetto is awesome. Dry Bone Valley was my favorite song from The Hunter. Brent is a good singer a little rough though. I want to hear Bill sing more though, I like his aggressive style.