I linked to Pitchfork's interview with Atlanta metal idols Mastodon yesterday, but now that I've gotten around to reading it, I felt the need to pass along guitarist Bill Kelliher's explanation of the concept behind their new album, Crack the Skye. Here goes...
"In a nutshell, basically, more or less, it's a story of, like, a quadriplegic boy who is in a wheelchair, and he leaves his earthly body behind. His spirit leaves his body, flies up into space, flies too close to the sun, burns up his golden umbilical cord that is tying him to his earthly body. He travels like into a wormhole, travels back in time to Czarist Russia where his spirit is pulled in by this Orthodox cult, called the Khlysty who are like out in the woods, dancing around fire, kind of having a seance or a divination where they're talking to dead people and spirits and stuff like that. They're trying to put the boy's spirit into Rasputin to warn him of the impending assassination on his life. And the boy enters Rasputin, and Rasputin turns into a martyr. He knows he's going to be killed but he lets it happen anyway. He finally is killed, then his spirit leaves his body with the young boy's, and they fly back through the wormhole through a crack in the sky. And he kind of brings the boy back to his body where the boy is completely healed and back to normal.
"That's pretty much like the gist of it, I mean, you know, give or take a few things."