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Black Tusk - Tend No Wounds

Black Tusk
Tend No Wounds
by Spyros Stasis at 22 July 2013, 11:54 AM

Back in 2008 Passages to Purgatory was coming out and people in the sludge scene started to get an idea of what BLACK TUSK were all about. "Taste The Sin" and "Set The Dial" would soon follow and reveal the road that the band decided to take. And now with their latest EP, "Tear No Wounds", they take it another step further. In this EP BLACK TUSK are moving away from the “traditional” Sludge scene and into the genre’s more energetic, upbeat side, what the band refers to as “Swamp Metal” probably.

That does not mean that these guys do not remember how to come up with fucking great riffs. The intro to the album, “A Cold Embrace”, almost instantly gives you a basic idea of what will follow. The instrumental track sets the vibe with its hooking riffs and heavy guitars while maintaining the fact that the strongest point of the band in this release is the groove that they are able to produce. Soon enough “Enemy of Reason” combining a Rock N' Roll influence along with a punkish in your face attitude, all wrapped around the heavy Sludge sound of the band, captures your attention.

On the other hand, BLACK TUSH seem also keen to try even a few other things. The cello and violin intro to “The Weak and The Wise”, surprisingly, fits quite nicely to the forthcoming storm of heavy riffs and Southern Rock influences, once again exposing the rockier side of the band and their strong connection to their roots. In a sinister turn, the beginning of “Internal/External” sounds much more sonically extreme with the actual song presenting an unreal groove.

“Truth Untold” is building up slowly, in an interesting manner, and finally unfolds its enthusiastic quality in a more aggressive way. The feeling that the band is able to convey about a couple of minutes in the song is one of the finest moments of the album. BLACK TUSK save the best for last with “In Days of Woe” unleashing unbelievable riffs and groove in every direction with a heavy as fuck guitar sound always present.

“Tend No Wounds” is a fun experience. The short duration of the EP, the combination of the Rock N' Roll vibe, the punk attitude and the Sludge background, enriched with the Southern Rock influences and the ability of BLACK TUSK to come up with catchy riffs and infectious grooves does exactly what it is meant to do. 

3 Star Rating

1. A Cold Embrace
2. Enemy of Reason
3. The Weak and The Wise
4. Internal/Eternal
5. Truth Untold
6. In Days of Woe
Jonathan Athon – Bass, Vocals
James May – Drums, Vocals
Andrew Fider – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Relapse Records


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