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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heavy Rotation-Black Tusk-"Taste The Sin"

One album that has caught my ear over the past few weeks is the new album by Black Tusk called "Taste The Sin". It looks like Georgia is becoming the hot bed for some great bands of late. Compared to luminaries such as Mastodon and Baroness, Black Tusk stamps their unique take on the ever so crushing mix of Southern-fried hardcore sludge metal.


"Hailing from Savannah, Georgia, Black Tusk is a 3-piece band and their sound is described as swamp metal. I have seen them compared to bands such as Baroness, Kylesa and Eyehategod, among others. The cover art was contributed by John Baizley of Baroness.

At just under 35 minutes long, you might think that each song blows by without leaving much of an impact. You’d be wrong there. The songs “Snake Charmer” and “Unleash The Wrath” both have a slight doom metal feel to them a la Electric Wizard and others as well, even picking up a bit of Baroness (at least to my ears). Elements of sludge and punk exist in “Embrace The Madness” and “Red Eyes, Black Skies”.

I feel that “Way of Horse and Bow” is one of the strongest tracks, bringing together all of the influences into a track that has the punk intensity and in ways, is slightly reminiscent of Municipal Waste. Tracks 7 through 10 are actually four chapters known as “Double Clutchin” and as the song titles suggest, are there to sonically capture the act of double clutching in a drag race and the car nut in me can only dream of double-clutching a Dodge Charger. All four songs slowly fuse together, and if not for the profanity in the last track (which may be bleepable?), would work together if played back to back.

This is a fantastic album from an up-and-coming band who can only get better with time. While it’s easy to think that Black Tusk a clone or knock-off of similar bands from the same area, you’d be doing them a grave disservice if you didn’t listen to this album from start to finish. Taste The Sin is easily one of my picks for 2010."


"Black Tusk have kept the blogosphere abuzz with their steady slew of splits, EPs, and one full-length since 2005. The recent signing to Relapse was no shocker, and their association with some of the biggest names in the sludge/beard metal scene only served to throw the hype-meter into overdrive. So does Taste The Sin meet these potentially unrealistic expectations? Absolutely, and it does so by sticking to the script, with the band delivering their best set of songs the band self-described as swamp metal boot-stompers. Black Tusk rip through this ten song beast with no pretense and plenty of down-home swagger, striking a balance between a Southern-fried Motorhead and a sludgy aesthetic.

From mud-caked blues riffs to the Jaeger, weed, Black Sabbath, and the “don’t know where I’m goin’ but I ain’t goin’ slow” snarl, this thing isn’t afraid to ride a monstrous groove and just deliver on the promise of some straight up rollicking rock ’n roll (“Way of Horse and Bow” anyone?). This is the kind of release where the influences are obvious, but instead of governing the thought process they provide a foundation from which Black Tusk have built their identity. Taste The Sin is an unkempt affair, so leave your sundresses and pleated khakis at home.

Now about those big-name associations: much has been made of a perceived connection between Black Tusk and fellow Georgian metal bands Mastodon and Baroness, and though I have no idea if this is a real camaraderie or an imagined geographic and sonic comparison, what I do know is that out of the three Black Tusk seem most willing to get their hands dirty. Instead of a rambling concept album about some sort of space czar, this feels like a gritty, direct look at the dark underbelly of the Dixie delivered by men who cherish their Miller High Life and their Sleep records. These guys have way more Down, Weedeater, and even some punk in their stew than either Mastodon or Baroness, and while it may not have the same progressive bent, Taste The Sin more than holds its own against Crack the Skye and Blue Record as their rough-around-the-edges but charming-as-all-get-out cousin." -Jake Oliver, DecoyMusic.com

Track Listing:

01. Embrace the Madness
02. Snake Charmer
03. Red Eyes, Black Skies
04. Way of Horse and Bow
05. Unleash the Wrath
06. Twist the Knife
07. Redline
08. Takeoff
09. The Ride
10. The Crash


Recommended for fans of: Mastodon, Baroness, Eyehategod, Kylesa

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