The Way Forward

Black Tusk

Their brand of Sludge-mashed Punk is commanding, energetic, and compelling. You can’t not want to break things while listening to the album.

From Bandcamp, “BLACK TUSK are a different beast. These swamp monsters have never strayed far from their roots in metal, sludge and punk, though their previous album found them fighting just to stay afloat after bassist Jonathan Athon’s passing. “The Way Forward” is just that. This album charges straight-on behind their new lineup, which includes former collaborators Chris "Scary" Adams on guitars, and Derek Lynch on bass. Together, they clear a path into the future by relying more on what BLACK TUSK does best.”

“Out of Grasp” is the first cut. To me, it sounds like Punk music with a very heavy bottom end. The song has a lot of energy and a weighted riff, and I am reminded of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. “Brushfire” is another song with angry vocals and a sturdy structure from the guitar riff and the thick bass guitar notes, and the psychedelic sounds in the background help to thicken it further. “Lessons Through Deception” begins with a bed of super low and slow bass notes that are so thick, they cloud your vision like an impenetrable fog. “Breath of Life” is much longer, and the psychedelic notes in the beginning transport you to an alternative universe. Again, the bass work really shines on the album.

“Against the Undertow” has a fast-moving riff that the band just drives down your throat. When you talk about the slow disappearance of riff-based Metal music, these guys scratch their heads. “Lift Yourself” has a filthy, crunchy riff and an energetic sound that could plow through a concrete barrier. “Ocean of Obsidian” reaches deep into a cave far beneath the earth and a beast emerges to walk with us above. It’s an instrumental with a disturbing sound that will haunt your dreams. “Flee from Dawn” has a raging, hateful sound that is reflected in the vocal screams. “The Way Forward” closes the album, and really captures the bands fighting spirit and will to keep going.

I like the band’s sound, and the fact that they have emerged from a tragedy with a renewed sense of self. You can never replace what was lost, but with some healing, some of the pieces can fall back into place. Their brand of Sludge-mashed Punk is commanding, energetic, and compelling. You can’t not want to break things while listening to the album.

8 / 10









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"The Way Forward" Track-listing:

1. Out of Grasp

2. Brushfire

3. Harness (The Alchemist)

4. Lessons Through Deception

5. Breath of Life

6. Dance on Your Grave

7. Against the Undertow

8. Lift Yourself

9. Ocean of Obsidian

10. Flee From Dawn

11. The Way Forward


Black Tusk Lineup:

Andrew Fidler – Guitar, Vocals

James May – Drums, Vocals

Chris "Scary" Adams – Guitar, Vocals

Derek Lynch – Bass, Vocals, Synths


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