Black Tusk - Taste the Sin
Relapse Records
Sludge/Rock and Roll
10 songs (34:11)
Release year: 2010
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Charles
Being on the Relapse promotions list is like working in the lower echelons of the environmental health department. You get to spend your Sundays sifting through a seemingly endless stream of pungent but high quality sludge. Black Tusk, from Georgia (the US state- the Eurasian Caucasus hasn’t suddenly developed a vibrant sludge metal scene as far as I know), is one of the more interesting nuggets within the current backlog. It’s a bit faster, and a bit punkier, than than is generally the norm, with grooves that are infectious enough to require the wearing one of those big yellow suits. If you’re still following the metaphor.

So, a track like Ways of Horse and Bow has a riotous garage rock feel that feels like Clutch, until it grinds slowly to a crawling, noisy halt. This is perhaps the most energetic number here, though its template is pretty typical. Embrace the Madness is more metallic, with ferocious, sneering vocals and denser, harder riffs, but it has the same bouncing energy nonetheless. At other points, like closer The Crash there’s a different approach. It opens with crunching, doomy buildup, like a less sluggish Reverend Bizarre, but the vocals reminds me of Biohazard, of all bands, in the way that the two vocalists alternate between guttural bellow and higher screech. Then it kicks into something you’d almost call death-thrash, energetically shaking of the cobwebs before degenerating again into a sludgy shoutalong.

The artwork is going to make you think of Baroness, and whilst they do sort of fit into a similar box, the band doesn’t have as much to say. Stylistically it is utterly unremarkable, but it’s pretty decent, overall. If you think of this plainly and simply as rock and roll then it is immensely listenable.

Killing Songs :
Ways of Horse and Bow, Embrace the Madness, The Crash
Charles quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Black Tusk that we have reviewed:
Black Tusk - Set The Dial reviewed by Khelek and quoted 80 / 100
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