Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 1999. The band is composed of bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor.
The band recorded a demo in 2000, which featured the band's first lead singer, Eric Saner on vocals. Saner left the band for personal reasons after just a couple of months. After recording a four song demo and a 7-inch picture disc through Reptilian Records, Mastodon landed a record deal with Relapse Records in 2001.
They released an EP, “Lifesblood” in 2001 and their first full-length album, “Remission,” was released in 2002, with the singles “March of the Fire Ants” and “Crusher/Destroyer.”
Their second full-length album, “Leviathan,” was released in 2004. It is a concept album loosely based on Herman Melville's novel “Moby Dick.” The song “Blood and Thunder” was chosen as one of the most important recordings of the decade by National Public Radio in November 2009.
“Leviathan” was followed by the 2006 release of “Call of the Mastodon,” a remastered collection of the band's first nine songs, and a DVD of interviews and concert footage called “The Workhorse Chronicles” that included material from the band's early days as a five-piece. These two releases were the band's last for Relapse Records, as they would go on to sign with Warner Bros.
They released “Blood Mountain” through Warner Bros., peaking at #32 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The Mars Volta frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala lent his vocals to the track “Siberian Divide” and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme contributed vocals for the song “Colony of Birchmen.”
In 2009 they released “Crack the Skye,” their most commercially successful album to date, peaking at #11 on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Brendan O'Brien and featured Scott Kelly of Neurosis as a guest musician on the title-track. The concept album is based on an “out of body experience,” and looks at the concepts of astral travel, wormholes, Stephen Hawking's theories and the spiritual realm. The album follows a quadriplegic that learns astral projection. On his journey he flies too close to the sun, burning his umbilical cord which connects him to his body, and flies into oblivion.
“The Hunter,” Mastodon's fifth studio album, was recorded at Doppler Studios in Atlanta with producer Mike Elizondo. It was released in September 2011 and debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200. The song “Spectrelight” again featured Neurosis vocalist/guitarist Scott Kelly as a guest.