Side projects are some of the most common things in the metal world, wether they branch out to other genres, or stay within the realm of metal. Sometimes, people branch so far out of their respective genre that it ends up angering a few fans of their old music. Take Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford, for example, who released his newest album under the name Future User a few weeks ago, which dipped very heavily into the electronic world. Brent Hinds ended up collaborating with The Legend of the Seagullmen, which ended up putting out two pretty strange songs that ended up taking pieces from prog rock and surf rock. Now, another member of Mastodon has stepped up to release their solo stuff, and this time, it’s Brann Dailor, and much like Tim Commerford, it’s more of an electronic project, with a few bits of live instrumentation.
He described the project late last month like this:
“It’s not a supergroup or anything, it’s just me and a couple friends of mine from Atlanta here. I’m playing live drums on it and it’s got a bunch of dark, heavy Moog stuff, so it’s pretty cool. I’m doing some singing on it as well. I think we’ll probably release a song in the next couple weeks.”
And a couple of weeks later, they released a song under the name Arcadea:
Along with Brann Dailor, Core Atoms and Raheem Amlani are credited with helping on the song. Now, for the song, there seems to be a much bigger influence on the drums. Not only are the drums mixed to be almost as loud as the synths, and there are only really two instruments on this song without the vocals, but they seem to have a higher purpose in the song. The drums seem to serve to break up the absolutely frantic, fast synth playing that dances all over this track. You can hear this especially when the drums get dialed back a bit towards the end, and the synth playing gets even faster. The synth work feels very sharp, claustrophobic, and urgent, and while the drums are fast as well, they feel more aggressive and angry.
The vocals are the only other real piece of this song, but they’re very distorted and mixed so that they have the same volume as the instrumentation. It helps to add another element of bleakness to the song. To wrap this all up, the visuals that accompany the song are pretty strange as well. It features abstract drawings of alien figures flying around in spaceships, some ship bearing a strange resemblance to pac-man, twisted landscapes, and different kinds of celestial bodies, all of which is animated in a very minimalist, eerie style.
If you like pretty dark music, and don’t mind that there’s no guitars in it, then this is definitely a project that you’ll want to keep an eye on.