"Set the Dial" (Relapse; 2011)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Georgia metal scene has arguably spawned heavy music’s most ambitious and prolific bands in the last decade, as the likes of Mastodon, Kylesa, Torche, and Baroness are a few of the notable acts hailing from the region that have made waves towards the mainstream from the same sludge metal foundation. Yet there is one band who opted to stay true to its primal roots without adding progressive pre-fixes to their sound; that act is the trio Black Tusk, whose latest swampy 10-track salvo "Set the Dial" digs deeper into the earth to deliver dirty grooves and scalding rhythms left behind by their peers (“Set the Dial to Your Doom”, “Growing Horns”).

Lifted by the coarse production skills of grunge guru Jack Endino behind the boards shaping their savage snarl (“Mass Devotion”) to reach the painstaking levels to what an amalgamation of the aforementioned bands would have sounded like five years ago, Black Tusk unloads a molten menagerie of stripped down bare bones crust metal (“Bring Me Darkness”) that proudly serves the Georgia sludge and swamp metal blueprint with an unbridled intensity and unsurpassed integrity.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:47 -0500.