Savannah, Georgia was a sludgy pool of primordial ooze in the early oughts; home to bands like Kylesa and Baroness. Black Tusk are far from a new band but their last album; 2016’s Pillars of Ash was the last material that their bassist Jonathon Athon played on before he tragically passed away after a motorcycle accident in 2014. T.C.B.T. continues on the band’s previous efforts as they continue to carve their own niche into the metal scene.
Black Tusk are a very no frills band with that go full throttle and eschew the mellow sounds of the Savannah scene of late. A hardcore vibe catches your ear as their brand of swamp metal is fierce and ferocious. “Closed Eye” is a powerful opening salvo with shouted vocals, very present bass lines and drum fills that absolutely explode on contact.
“Lab Rat” sounds like an introduction for a mosh pit as you plunge headlong into a murky and humid battlefield using only your forearms for protection. The vocals are a shared duty between seemingly all members of the band. Each seems to play off of each other; like an argument that nobody is winning, instead throwing wood onto the fire and stoking the flame.
This is a powerful album on all fronts and reveals a new layer on repeated listens; awfully impressive in this respect for an album this is firmly rooted in hardcore. The band was also recently announced to accompany Goatwhore for the duration of the Metal Alliance tour through the U.S. and Canada so the sky is the limit for the most recent wunderkind out of the Georgia swamps.
If T.C.B.T. is your first exposure to Black Tusk; I cannot think of a better way to get into the band, all of their hallmarks are here to experience for a first time. T.C.B.T. is officially putting the scene on notice; Black Tusk are here to stay.
(released August 17, 2018 on Season Of Mist)
Heavy Music Headquarters Rating:
Listen To Black Tusk – “Burn The Stars”