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Black Tusk - Tend No Wounds [EP]
23 July 2013

01. A Cold Embrace
02. Enemy Of Reason
03. The Weak And The Wise
04. Internal/Eternal
05. Truth Untold
06. In Days Of Woe

Black Tusk really exemplifies the "Savannah Sludge" sound, and they always have. The downside of this is that they don't do much else, and release albums that many of us hear as unoriginal compared to their colleagues. The upside is that they're poised to become the stalwarts of the genre, the defenders of the faith, and the ones who will keep it alive after all others have passed on.

Perhaps we need Black Tusk more than we realize. With Baroness making a complete left turn in their music and Kylesa gradually continuing their own brilliant path of musical exploration, Black Tusk is left behind to guard the "Savannah Sludge" sound and keep it alive for future generations. This band releases solid music that shows very little evolution and thus makes them perfect historians.

With such a great sound to guard, this is not entirely a bad thing. In fact, the meager evolution that Black Tusk has engaged in since 2010's slightly less atmopsheric Taste The Sin has only brought them CLOSER to center, instead of away from it. This new EP, Tend No Wounds, has even more of the dense, smoky atmosphere of Kylesa, those short bursts of cascading vocals, and the moderately psychedelic guitars.

To be perfectly honest, if I'd heard this EP without knowing which band it was, I may have bet large sums of money that it was Kylesa at some point in their past. Perhaps that has something to do with this being Black Tusk's best release yet.

Five songs and an intro is the perfect amount of music from this trio and despite what you might have gleaned from this review so far, I am finding it highly enjoyable. It's not too much same-y Black Tusk, which is usually what drives me away. It's just enough textbook "Savannah Sludge" to sate my palate each time. Nothing less, nothing more.

Pre-order Tend No Wounds at Relapse Records.

Band profile: Black Tusk
Album: Tend No Wounds


Written on 03.07.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan
More reviews by Susan ››


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Boxcar Willy - 03.07.2013 at 06:38  
All of their albums get a solid 8 from me, they really are consistent despite lacking in the originality department.
Spirit Molecule - 03.07.2013 at 11:24  
I don't really have a problem with them not experimenting too much. I love the Savannah Sludge sound, and as you said, the bands who got me into that style have all moved on. I need to check this one out.
By the way, is that a Mercer cover?

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