Local metal heroes Mastodon have just released the new video for their latest single, “Asleep in the Deep,” from 2014’s Once More ‘Round the Sun.
Inspired by a caffeine-fueled rumination on the mysterious and clandestine nature of cats, Skinner, the self-professed “psychedelic nightmare” painter who also created the artwork for the record, conceptualized this story of a cat who goes outside one night after its owner, played by Skinner himself, falls asleep. Shortly after leaving, our cat finds itself in a kind of cavern adorned with ancient cave paintings, where several puppet creatures present it with a bowl of milk laced with some hallucinogenic substances (insert jokes about catnip here). After crawling into a labyrinth and being struck by a multi-colored bolt of electricity, our feline protagonist suddenly transforms into a large puppet.
The video continues to follow our cat on several nocturnal adventures, including a battle with a three-headed, Cerberus-like creature inside a Scooby Doo-esque volcano. Our hero prevails, casting his foe into a swirling abyss while Mastodon shred in the background. Also featured: a Shamanic toad plucking a banjo and breathing purple fire!
Co-directed by local music video guru Video Rahim and produced by Shane Morton, the production comes complete with psychedelic visuals inspired by cult film writer/actor/director Alejandro Jodorwsky. Say what you want about their new musical direction, but “Asleep in the Deep,” with its Crack the Skye-esque progginess, is the perfect track for this video. Furthermore, the Mastodon of old would, most likely, not have been able to produce something of this magnitude and caliber.
Pick up an “Asleep in the Deep” t-shirt and poster from Mastodon’s online store while you have the chance, and take a look at Skinner’s blog detailing the creation and production of the video to further gain an appreciation for the work that went into this colossal project.