Mastodon’s “White Walker” contribution to Game Of Thrones mixtape
If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty excited for the new season of HBO’s A Song Of Ice And Fire television adaptation Game Of Thrones. One of the most popular TV shows of all time – it’s the most pirated show in history, for starters – it’s won Emmys, Golden Globes, and the adoration of anyone who wants to see big swords, bigger dragons, and whole lot of boobies.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably at least vaguely familiar with Georgian metal band Mastodon. They’re sort of well known, and their albums are okay I suppose. It’s not like I spun Crack The Skye 100x or anything.
The band’s last album was the very successful Once More Round The Sun, a triumph in great, fun songwriting, so there’s not much apart from touring on the horizon, but the band have managed to put their minds together to produce a track for the new Game Of Thrones mixtape Catch The Throne: The Mixtape Volume II.
Neither party are strangers to collaboration outside their mediums. Mastodon supplied tracks for the score to 2010 film Jonah Hex - their album Blood Mountain was cited by writer Jimmy Hayward as a big inspiration – and the song “Ísland” from the album Leviathan was used in Monsters University. That’s besides various tracks being used in games like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Saints Row, Rocksmith 2014, Project Gotham Racing 3, Guitar Hero Metallica, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland and NHL 2K9.
For GoT’s part, last season the show drafted in Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós to provide a chilling cover of the now infamous wedding theme “The Rains Of Castamere“, and they even appeared as musicians at King Joffrey’s wedding.
Mastodon’s track is one of fifteen on the mixtape – amongst other metal acts like Anthrax and Killswitch Engage - and is named “White Walker“ after the mysterious ‘snow zombies’ beyond The Wall. It goes a little something like this:
It’s not typical Mastodon; there are no monstrous riffs, percussion is generally limited to some kind of tom and tambourine combination (although a sweet solo in the song’s second half is accompanied by some snare), and all vocals are sung, but it’s a really nice song, with some great build to it.
You’ll notice a baby crying at the beginning, which likely references the songs of old man Craster, a northman who marries his own daughters leaves his baby boys for the White Walkers. This was well known, but one scene in season 4 teased knowledge previously unknown to book readers – that these babies are taken and turned into White Walkers themselves. Interesting.
Catch The Throne: The Mixtape Volume II will be released on March 17th for FREE! Game Of Thrones returns April 12th to HBO and will be simultaneously broadcast across the world for its season premiere. Watch it, because it’s awesome.