Earlier today, the Newsroom (OK, pretty much just me and producer Daniel "Monty" Montalto) was abuzz with excitement about the happenings over on Mastodon's official Web site. Seems the Atlanta prog/thrash/tech metallers had placed a countdown clock on the page, and it was rapidly, well, counting down, due to hit all zeros at noon ET.
And when we finally got to the zero hour, what would be revealed? Information about the band's long-awaited new album, Crack the Skye, a concept disc based on (depending on what you read) the life of indestructible Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin, the art aesthetics of Tsarist Russia, astral travel or Stephen Hawking's conceptual theories on Wormholes? The secrets of the Birchmen of Blood Mountain? Webcam footage of the slaughter of a snow leopard? Knowing Mastodon, truly any of those things were possible.
So, at 11:59 a.m. ET, Monty and I gathered around my computer, cranked up the speakers and awaited the majesty that would soon follow. At noon, the clock hit zeros, and ... well, nothing happened. Bummed, I hit refresh on my computer, only to discover that the site now featured a new countdown clock, this one set to expire in 65 days. So, in essence, Mastodon posted a countdown to a countdown. Monty and I were crestfallen, and we spent the next 15 minutes watching YouTube clips of Megadeth performing "Countdown to Extinction." Then I got some lunch.
Some are saying that there might be some sort of official announcement posted on the site when the countdown clock reaches noon PT (3 p.m. ET ... the clock is time-zone specific, apparently). But until then, I will remain slightly saddened. Still, there was some good that came out of the (non) countdown. As one fan posted on Mastodon's message board soon after noon, "Just as my counter hit zero, a fight broke out at the bus stop across the street. ... Thank you, Mastodon. That ruled!"