MusicRecord Reviews

Black Tusk: Set The Dial

One thing Savannah’s Black Tusk can be relied on to do is work the rugged canyon between the mountains of metal and hardcore like hardened thoroughbreds. This time out, however, they’ve shed their occasional thrash tendencies for a more direct hard rock kick, thereby streamlining the advance of their all-out, no-bullshit brawn even more. More than anything, this Jack Endino-produced (Soundgarden, High on Fire, Skeletonwitch) record emphatically proves that the genius behind the Black Tusk boys is that they’re dynamic and crunching without being overcooked.

With only two songs daring into the four-minute range, Black Tusk keeps its attack concise as usual. Highlights include the marauding call-and-response victory of “Ender of All,” the big-balled punk of “Carved in Stone” and the Southern wrecking ball of “This Time is Divine.” But speaking volumes about the musical expression of a beast blessed with three strong vocalists is that two of the album’s best tracks-“Brewing the Storm” and “Resistor”-are actually instrumentals. And while their heavyweight Georgian peers like Zoroaster, Kylesa and Mastodon are busy getting all high-minded, these guys just want to kick ass. Plain and simple, son. Amen.