BLACK TUSK “Set The Dial” (Relapse Records 2011)

Written by Album Review

You’d better not be looking for subtlety if you listen to BLACK TUSK : they play such a melting-pot of punk rock, stoner and sludge metal that instead of categorizing themselves into a genre, they decided to selfproclaim their music as “swamp metal”. However, their latest record “Set The Dial” is getting deeper into the swamp and its dirtiness, but most of everything : it brings euphoria !!! Set the dial, listen to this, because it’s sick !

Which is cool when you start listening to “Set The Dial” (and any Black Tusk record, basically) is that first song Bring Me Darkness charges right in with the guys claiming vigorously “SIX! SIX! SIX!“. Loud and fast !!! Sticking with their hardcore punk sorry, swamp metal energy, BLACK TUSK dudes never embarass themselves with conventions : they put their fucking feet in it, ’cause it’s so THEM.

That said, I find this record more filled with a southern/stoner tradition than with the heavy punk they used to blast on “Taste The Sin” or “Passage Through Purgatory”, even if they still keep their hellraiser state of mind, something we really love with these guys. So when the beat is slowing down and starts to swing on, it feels more like something that came up really spontaneously than something they’ve discussed in advance before deciding or not if they’d release a stoner record “because it’s trendy”. BLACK TUSK is one of these bands that totally assume their craziness ! Tracks such as Ender Of All, Mass Devotion, Resistor (I love this title !) probably sound more like that NOLA deep kind of sludge than that punk-influenced sludge typical of their hometown.

“Set The Dial” is a concentrate of brutality carried by the band’s fire, which makes us feel they really enjoyed themselves making it. It creates really weird and unexpected reactions on unexperienced listeners, such as bursting with joy during some intro or even laughing stupidly while hearing James, Athon and Andrew shouting themsleves hoarse like psychos. It’s all raw pleasure, even if the album is faaaar from being as brilliant as “Passage Through Purgatory” which is, for me, the piece of art that represents most their talent, craziness and music open-mindedness…

ALBUM : “Set The Dial”
RELEASE DATE  : October 2011
LABEL : Relapse Records
GENRE : Sludge / punk / southern metal

Last modified: 11 February 2015

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