Update: Mastodon have now officially announced the new album 'Emperor of Sand,' and have unleashed the animated video for the song "Sultan's Curse." Watch the clip above. The 'Emperor of the Sand' album is also now available for pre-order in various formats at this location.

At last! We've been waiting as Mastodon teased us all week with trailer videos from each members that offered, well, nothing about the new album. Bill Kelliher and his bandmates asserted there'd be another heaping pile of riffs, but that was expected. Now, we finally have confirmation thanks to iTunes Australia which displays the artwork for Emperor of Sand and track listing, also showing the record will arrive on March 31 via Reprise Records.

Seen below, the album cover is a deviation from the overtly psychedelic artwork found on Emperor of Sand's predecessor2014's Once More 'Round the Sun. A skull-faced creature stands draped in a robe, feathers and battle-ready armor, namely a metal helmet brandishing an imposing series of spikes. The album will bring 11 new tracks, including the opener, "Sultan's Curse," which iTunes indicates is the first single and the full track listing can be seen underneath the cover.

Emperor of Sand is another conceptual album from the quartet, centered around the theme of cancer. "The last couple of years have been not, there’s been some illness within the band's 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," drummer Brann Dailor told us in an exclusive interview.

"Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper," says Dailor in a statement. "Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, 'How much time is left?'" Meanwhile, bassist Troy Sanders adds, "We're reflecting on mortality. To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It's 17 years in the making, but it's also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives."

Catch Mastodon on tour starting April 14, bringing Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles along with them. See the full list of stops at our 2017 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

Mastodon, Emperor of Sand Artwork:


Mastodon, Emperor of Sand Track Listing:

01. “Sultan’s Curse”
02. “Show Yourself”
03. “Precious Stones”
04. “Steambreather”
05. “Roots Remain”
06. “Word To The Wise”
07. “Ancient Kingdom”
08. “Clandestiny”
09. “Andromeda”
10. “Scorpion Breath”
11. “Jaguar God”

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