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How 'Augmented Reality' Software Can Blur the Lines Between Online and Offline Worlds

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This story appears in the January 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Mastodon makes music as powerful, as intimidating and as heavy as the prehistoric beast that lends the group its name. Formed in Atlanta in 1999, Mastodon--lead guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor, bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and guitarist Bill Kelliher--is at the forefront of a generation of bands expanding heavy metal beyond its headbanging roots into new realms of sonic complexity and thematic daring.

With the recording industry now a lumbering dinosaur facing extinction of its own, Mastodon's most recent album, 2011's The Hunter, extends the quartet's high-concept sensibilities beyond the music--their 2004 album, Leviathan, drew inspiration from the novel Moby-Dick, while 2009's Crack the Skye charted the adventures of a quadriplegic hero who learns the art of astral projection--into its packaging. The move is intended to steer fans away from simply downloading or sharing digital files and instead purchasing the vinyl or CD release.

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