It may have been 6 yrs between albums, but they've only been actively working on the new album since the end of the tour in 2011. They always seem to wait until they get off the road, spend some time with their families, and on vacation; then they go back into the studio. It was nearly two full years after the Elevation tour ended, before they even started recording "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb". Taking this kind of time is nothing new. Better to take the time to get it right, than to have another "Pop", eh?