Mastodon spent time during the latter half of 2016 in the studio and fans are anxiously awaiting new music coming in 2017. The band just released an exclusive photo to Loudwire from their studio process which can be seen above and have unveiled a few more details as to what fans can expect from the upcoming disc.

As you can see in the shot above, the guys are jamming away on music while a lucky dog gets the first listen to what the band is laying down. The room is set up with plenty of gear and some area rugs to give it a sense of home. Also joining the band in the studio was producer Brendan O'Brien, who previously worked with Mastodon on their Crack the Skye album.

When we spoke to drummer Brann Dailor earlier this year, he told us of the decision to return to O'Brien, "It was a deep, emotional record to make but it was a fun one. He’s a fun person to be in the studio with, we’re all just sharing the same sense of humor. It was nothing but laughs the whole time. He’s super fast, things just get done. If you have an idea go do it, let’s refine it and it’s off to the races. I think it took us like five weeks total from start to finish, so that’s pretty great, I like that."

At the time, Dailor also revealed a bit of the conceptual tie, explaining, "The last couple of years have been not, there’s been some illness within the bands family, there’s been a bunch cancer, so the whole album is sort of all about cancer basically. Well, not literally. It’s a big story that sort roped to go along with it. It takes place in the desert."

Elaborating a bit more in a new interview with Rolling Stone, the drummer states, "Time is a very big theme of the album How much time do we have left? What are we doing with our time?" He went on to reveal that the main protagonist is dealt a death sentence from a desert ruler, then wanders amid the arid wasteland before simultaneously dying but being saved. "It's about going through cancer, going through chemotherapy and all the things associated with that. I didn't want to be literal about it. But it's all in there. You can read between the lines."

The drummer has also revealed a few song titles, with the straight-ahead riffage of "Show Yourself," the muscular "Precious Stones," the brooding "Steambreather" and and the Zeppelin-esque "Your Own Blood" among those expected to make the cut.

While speaking with us, Dailor stated that recording was a cathartic process while the members dealt with the various health issues surrounding family members. "A good way to honor your people is with your art. We just would go down to Bill’s basement, we got a little studio down there and we just kinda riff out and see what we were liking and biting on, and low and behold a bunch of months later we had like 15 great song ideas that got down to somewhere about 9 or 10 great pieces. And then Brent had this big long thing that he wrote that was insane and so I love that. He had another amazing song that he wrote, so it brought everything together towards the end." Dailor even plays his late grandmother's bass on the album as a nod to her musical past and the family ties that bind.

Mastodon posted a few photos via their social media as the recording process was in progress. See those shots below and stay tuned for new Mastodon music, expected in spring 2017.

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