Mastodon just announced their new double album Hushed And Grim with a single titled "Pushing The Tides", as well as the revelation of the album artwork. The artwork was done by longtime Mastodon collaborator Paul Romano, and according to drummer Brann Dailor is a tribute to the band's late manager Nick John.
John passed away in 2018 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Essentially, to be brief, [the tree] is an afterlife mythology that when you pass away, your spirit goes into the heart of a tree and then experiences all the pillars of your in successions of the seasons that the tree experiences. That is the way you're able to say goodbye to the natural world and move on to the next dimension.
"You can see a green man in the center of the tree – the heart of the tree – and that is our good friend and manager Nick John, who passed away unfortunately a couple of years ago. [Nick] has a lot to do with the inspiration of the album, Hushed And Grim."