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Emperor of Sand is the seventh studio album from American metal band Mastodon. The album was recorded at the Quarry in Kennesaw, Georgia and mixed at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles. The band worked with record producer Brendan O'Brien, who they collaborated with on their 2009 album Crack the Skye.The songs were recorded as originally arranged, then they revisited each track to edit and refine the sound.
The album's concept and story follows a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. Themes of death and survival are woven into the song's lyrics, which were inspired by experiences members of the band had when family and friends were recently diagnosed with cancer.