Mastodon fans rejoice, for June 24th brings you the release of "Once More 'Round the Sun", album number six from your favorite practitioners of prehistoric sludge rock.

The bad news: this album is chock full of laser focused songs, tight arrangements, melodies, and even (gasp!) cheerleader-like vocal chants. Gone are the album length epics, and arrangements so complex that Maynard J. Keenan would stare slack jawed like a deer-in-the-headlights.

No, Mastodon hasn't sold out. In the words of drummer Brann Dailor, "Once More 'Round the Sun" is

"a reflection of our past – with a few songs that are a bit out-there and show a new direction. We're as happy with it as we were our previous albums."

Basically, the album is still loaded with their patented primal stoner rock, but cleaner production and improved songcraft will open Mastodon up to a much expanded audience. Look out fans, your band may just blow up with this one. Your dirty little secret is about to become the favorite band of tens of thousands of people you wouldn't hang out with on your worst day. But, be happy for the band. "Once More 'Round the Sun" may not buy them a private-jet, but if this album is half as successful as it should be, they'll be able to keep the lights on for a while...

Take an inside look behind the scenes with the "Making of "Once More 'Round the Sun":

 

 

 

as long as you're here, check out the video for the first release from "Once More...", "High Road":

 

 

...with some behind the scenes action: