After the tragic passing away of bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon in late 2014 Black Tusk have regrouped and rebounded in an excellent way with the pounding slab of 'Pillars Of Ash'.
Recruiting ex Kylesa bassist Corey Barhorst (who played and toured during that bands Spiral Shadow release) has really lit a fire under the band, his gnarly bass tones and shouty vocals fitting right in. The tag 'Swamp Metal' really is understating the sounds that are in play here: a mix of hardcore, metal, punk and some light psyche. Tracks like the opening High On Fire-esque 'Gods On Vacation' and 'Still Not Well' are catchy and heavy. An excellent production by Joel Grind is the cherry on top here.
Black Tusk have steamrolled through grief and strife with and excellent release. Along with Baroness and Kylesa they are the ambassadors for the Savannah Georgia sludge/metal/punk/etc scene and like the aforementioned acts, well worth your time. I strongly suspect this will be something of a sleeper hit that people will keep coming back to time and time again.
Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.