Rating:
6.6
Black Tusk - Set The Dial
25 October 2011


01. Brewing The Storm
02. Bring Me Darkness
03. Ender Of All
04. Mass Devotion
05. Carved In Stone
06. Set The Dial To Your Doom
07. Resistor
08. This Time Is Divine
09. Growing Horns
10. Crossroads And Thunder


Here comes Black Tusk! They're groovy, sludgy, heavy, and catchy! Aaaaaaaaaand...

Not all that exciting.

All the ingredients to make stoner/sludge metal are there, exactly where you'd expect to find them. Set The Dial may just be exciting if you've never really listened to anything in the sludge and/or stoner subgenre before, for everyone else, it's unbelievably textbook. Those abrasive quasi-harsh vocals rolling along with the thundering fuzz-toned, bottom-end heavy riffs. It's all there, in fact, it's really hard to make any complaints seem all that legitimate. After banging your head out to bands like Bison B.C., Kylesa, Hail! Hornet, and High On Fire, Black Tusk just seem a bit uninspired. In fact, if I was asked to describe Black Tusk in 3 words, the only appropriate response would be "second-rate Bison*."

It is what it is, though. Hearing this through less seasoned ears might actually be a treat. It's an embodiment of everything sludge/stoner; dirty grimy, catchy, and heavy in an earthy sort of way. Hell, it's even got the John Baizley artwork to boot. I can understand a lot of bands in this circle are sort of creating their own regional brand of pounding sludge metal (Savannah, Georgia - home to Kylesa, Black Tusk and Baroness.) However, these guys just don't have the personality their compatriots do. It's like that friend who steals all your best jokes, then consistently fucks up every punch line.

Set The Dial is not a terrible album by any means. It just seems like Black Tusk may just be one of the first in a generation of assembly-line sludge bands. It had to happen some time.

*Bison can be switched out for any number of bands in this case.


Band profile: Black Tusk
Album: Set The Dial


 



Written on 15.11.2011 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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BitterCOld - 15.11.2011 at 08:08  
I kinda liked this one, found it slightly better than "Taste The Sin" after a couple listens... so my rating would be maybe half a point higher.

it is what it is. while their Georgian counterparts are all off doing something more exploratory, they are content with a Ramones-like formula, only without the Ramones benefit of being the innovators of that formula.

it's good stuff in the same way burgers and fries are.
Troy Killjoy - 15.11.2011 at 09:24  
"It's like that friend who steals all your best jokes, then consistently fucks up every punch line."

Exactly my thoughts. In fact pretty much this entire review reflects my opinion, the rating included.
Mr. Doctor - 15.11.2011 at 17:16  
It's like that friend who steals all your best jokes, then consistently fucks up every punch line.

Oh man I fucking hate that guy......
Ag Fox - 15.11.2011 at 21:41  
Only listened to it once (couple of days ago in fact), and I completely agree. Shame, because I like the artwork so much and wanted to buy a T-shirt...
Spirit Molecule - 15.11.2011 at 21:59  
Hmmm I liked their stuff, its pretty decent, not the best band out there, but they have their moments. I will still check this one out.
@AG yeah cover art by John D again. He's done all their cover art. I actually found these guys coz of him
BoxCar Willy - 16.11.2011 at 14:45  
Bison ftw
Lokaeda - 16.11.2011 at 15:17  
I've just realized Black Tusk starting playing before Bison B.C.
Doc Godin - 17.11.2011 at 01:31  
Written by Lokaeda on 16.11.2011 at 15:17

I've just realized Black Tusk starting playing before Bison B.C.

Doesn't automatically make them better.
Lokaeda - 17.11.2011 at 15:43  
Written by Doc Godin on 17.11.2011 at 01:31

Doesn't automatically make them better.


I didn't say such a thing (though I actually think Black Tusk is better ).
Cynic Metalhead - 20.11.2011 at 16:34  
Well, it not gonna be a big deal out of this if I say this band is actually underrated in MS. I mean look at this....its still fucking invisible. I am not a pro listener of Sludge Metal, but I've covered it their many albums which too far for me till now is fucking good. On an average rating is like umm 8( which is not bad) and is having a great goodwill in the Metal music. We should promote this band to more rather tripping and listening to mainstream bands.
Troy Killjoy - 20.11.2011 at 22:50  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 20.11.2011 at 16:34
We should promote this band to more rather tripping and listening to mainstream bands.

There are better bands than this to promote to be honest.
Cynic Metalhead - 21.11.2011 at 11:41  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 20.11.2011 at 22:50

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 20.11.2011 at 16:34
We should promote this band to more rather tripping and listening to mainstream bands.

There are better bands than this to promote to be honest.


I know... but this band aint that bad too!
Spirit Molecule - 22.11.2011 at 18:25  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 20.11.2011 at 16:34

Well, it not gonna be a big deal out of this if I say this band is actually underrated in MS. I mean look at this....its still fucking invisible. I am not a pro listener of Sludge Metal, but I've covered it their many albums which too far for me till now is fucking good. On an average rating is like umm 8( which is not bad) and is having a great goodwill in the Metal music. We should promote this band to more rather tripping and listening to mainstream bands.


tsk tsk my child, leave it to the pros
Susan - 06.12.2011 at 19:07  
Nice review Doc, although I'm going to guess that it wouldn't even be a treat for "less seasoned ears." Just a guess but last year I really discovered/got into sludge and their album Taste The Sin was painfully boring. Even though I was new, I barely got through a handful of listens, opting usually to listen to Bison instead (or any of the great 2010 releases). I clicked on this Set The Dial review hoping you'd say that they'd improved since last year but alas... I think I'll pass on this one
Mattybu - 05.01.2012 at 21:59  
Good job with the review. Sums up the album well.

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