by Parker Langvardt

Mastodon @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 (more by BBG)

Mastodon will be touring this fall in support of their new album, The Hunter (out 9/27), with a performance at the Riv on November 11 with Dillinger Escape Plan and Red Fang (the same night their 2010 tour mates Between the Buried and Me play House of Blues). The band's own pre-sale begins this Thursday (9/15), at noon CST. Each pair of tickets purchased online will include a digital copy of The Hunter up until midnight on September 26. All dates are listed below.

Mastodon will also be performing on the Late Show with David Letterman on 10/5.

If Mastodon's singles "Black Tongue," "Curl of the Burl," and "Spectrelight" indicate anything, it's that The Hunter will be a curveball in the Mastodon catalogue. The Hunter marks a switch to a new album cover artist and producer as well as a step forward from the four classical elements, which they used as themes over their past four albums (Remission - Fire, Leviathan - Water, Blood Mountain - Earth, Crack the Skye - Ether).

Mike Elizondo, most known for his work with Eminem, 50 Cent, and Fiona Apple, is credited for production on The Hunter, his first foray into music that actually rocks unless you count Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare (which I assume we can agree not to). Elizondo has a lot to live up to considering Mastodon worked with Matt Bayles (producer of Isis, Russian Circles, The Sword) for three albums and Bayles' mentor Brendan O'Brien on their prog-metal masterpiece Crack The Skye. Elizondo will either prove himself in the metal world, or be known for watering down one of the most creative metal bands with poor pop sensibility. So far, the guitars and vocals have an even more processed sound than Crack the Skye, but without the mystical ambience.

When asked about finishing up the elements as album themes in a 2008 interview with, drummer Brann Dailor said, "If you get into the Chinese elements then you got wood and all that. Yeah, the wood record!" The funny thing is, that's exactly what they did. After using Paul Romano as their go-to artist since Remission, Mastodon decided to have woodcarving folk artist AJ Fosik create an insane creature with several ears and bottom jaws this time around.

Fosik's process was highlighted in the "Black Tongue" video, which also features 3D renderings of the creature. They must have realized they hit the nail on the head with their spiraling live visuals for the Crack the Skye tour, included on the Live at the Aragon DVD, because all of the videos for The Hunter are slightly psychedelic, and are sure to be projected onto the backdrop during their tour. "Curl of the Burl" has no plot and seems to be the result of a trip in the woods, full of mirrored screen fractals, and "Spectrelight" uses the wooden art once again as a hypnotic centerpiece. Shortly before announcing the album, they released a video for the intense Crack the Skye b-side "Deathbound" which features Brann Dailor as a strange Mister Rogers along with Adult Swim puppets in an apocalyptic "Magic Land."

Head below for all 2011 tour dates, The Hunter's tracklisting, and those videos.

The Hunter Track List:
01. Black Tongue

02. Curl Of The Burl

03. Blasteroid

04. Stargasm
05. Octopus Has No Friends

06. All The Heavy Lifting

07. The Hunter

08. Dry Bone Valley

09. Thickening

10. Creature Lives

11. Spectrelight

12. Bedazzled Fingernails

13. The Sparrow
001. The Ruiner (with limited edition)

002. Deathbound (with limited edition)
Spectrelight video

Black Tongue video

10/25 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
10/27 Houston, TX - Fitzgeralds
11/01 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theatre
11/02 Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades
11/03 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
11/05 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
11/06 Seattle, WA - Showbox SODO
11/07 Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
11/08 Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
11/09 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
11/11 Chicago, IL - the Riv
11/12 Milwaukee, WI - Rave Ballroom
11/13 Sauget, IL - Pop's
11/14 Kansas City, MO - The Beaumont
11/16 Detroit, MI - The Fillmore Detroit
11/17 Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room
11/19 New York City, NY - Terminal 5
11/20 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
11/21 Boston, MA - House of Blues
11/23 Montreal, QC - Metropolis
11/25 Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
11/26 Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
11/27 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/28 Norfolk, VA - The NorVa
11/29 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
12/01 Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues
12/02 TBA - The Missing Link

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