"We wanted something that would stand the test of time and not be shelved after one or two listens," recalls drummer and co-vocalist Brann Dailor of Atlanta progressive/sludge metallers Mastodon as he looks back on the 10th anniversary of their fourth studio album Crack the Skye, an effort widely considered their most experimental and prog-riff heavy.
In a newly released video, the group shared footage from the studio sessions that went into making the record, including commentary recorded now from a modern perspective as well as narration taken back in 2009 in which the group elaborate on how "different" and "off the deep end" the process was leading up to the LP's release on March 24th of that year. Longer song structures and winding, spaced-out jams led the quartet in a different direction than their previous more straightforward metal material.
Dailor, the main lyricist on the album who tried to create a consistent storyline throughout the songs, continues: "I guess the most important thing about writing music in the first place is that personal human connection you make with other people."
The simple but emotional statement echoes a sentiment the percussionist shared with MTV about the album's title, one part tribute to his late sister named Skye who committed suicide at the age of 14. "Death is part of life. Everybody goes through loss at some point in their life, but when someone commits suicide very young, it has very damaging, lasting effects," he told the music channel. "It's our duty as musicians and artists to reach down as deep as possible into human and life experiences and put that into your art."
In addition to the video, Mastodon have issued a new line of exclusive merch related to the album, available on their official webstore. The items available include a special edition lenticular anniversary poster, an LP and slip mat done up with the official album art, and special necklaces, pins, and other accessories pertaining to the occasion.