Black Tusk - Taste the Sin (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Black Tusk

Taste the Sin (2010)


The first words from the first song on Black Tusk's new album Taste the Sin are "Time is coming / Heed the sound / Rip your face off / Thrash around." That right there should let er'rybody know that they're in store for a metal album, and one of the best released so far this year. Well, that and the album is called Taste the Sin. There are only so many genres that could pull off a title like that.

Hailing from Savannah, Ga., the power trio sounds very much like their sludge metal neighbors Baroness and Kylesa, and in describing Black Tusk's sound, it is perhaps best to explain what they don't sound like. They don't pursue more expansive territory like Baroness. These songs do not have mellow sections and the band does not jam out (although there is a sweet tribal drumming section on "Unleash the Warth"). But their audio assault doesn't have quite as many nuances as Kylesa's. There are no female backup vocals/screams to diversify the vox and there is only one drummer. What this means is that Taste the Sin is a very straightforward but very kick-ass metal record.

At just 34 minutes in length, Taste the Sin is filler-free, delivering 10 tracks that bash and thrash and grind. "Embrace the Madness," which features the lyrics quoted above, opens the album. It takes about 10 seconds to kick into high energy. It's striking how important every member is--everyone sings, everyone plays an instrument. The drums force the song along. Savannah metal needs a thick bottom, and Black Tusk delivers that as well. Being a metal band, Black Tusk has guitar on lockdown.

After "Embrace the Madness," the group expertly tears through a series of skull-crackers. The record isn't exactly the most original document ever created, nor does it aspire to be as such. So while the lyrics aren't the greatest, the intensity is more than enough. There's a certain beauty in such no-frills rock, in such meaty riffs and booming drums.