Music by VICE

Watch Mastodon's Emotional and Hellacious 'Emperor of Sand' Documentary

​"We riff out, and it helps."

by Phil Witmer
Dec 4 2017, 4:26pm

Photo courtesy of the artist

Emperor of Sand found Mastodon achieving their most careful balance yet between thunderous motorcycle-metal and knotted prog rock, and the Atlanta boys were rewarded with Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance last week. Over the course of the album's promo, the band shared a dozen mini-docs that went behind the scenes on its recording and writing process and now they've combined all of them into one feature-length documentary called The Making of Emperor of Sand, which is out now. If you've ever wanted to be in the studio with Mastodon for more than an hour, here's your chance.

As expected, there's lots of great footage of the group being incredible at their instruments, (drummer Brann Dailor is still definitely a many-armed cyborg of some kind) as well as breakdowns of their creative process behind bringing Emperor of Sand's heavy themes to life. While the documentary deals with the album's metaphor for being diagnosed with cancer and coming to terms with mortality, much of it also consists of the band heartwarmingly praising each other's work ("When Troy plays the it's Mastodon," "Bill was on fire for this record"). Dailor's platitude of "we riff out, and it helps" sums up the overall message, and it's one we can agree with. Watch The Making of Emperor of Sand above.