Black Tusk – Tend No Wounds EP (Relapse)

Sunday, 21st July 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Thank goodness actual full-length album releases haven’t gone the way of the dinosaur – how else would a band like Black Tusk give us a stopgap EP? It’s almost a negative term, you know? “Stopgap.” It makes DR think of trying to plug four holes with two fingers, or a temporary fix to a long-term problem. Not to say Black Tusk are anyone’s problem, so you can’t fault a band for wanting to get some tunage out before their next full length hits, which is the reason behind the six-song, 20-minute Tend No Wounds EP.

Still very much ingrained in Southern backwoods metal (what a term that is), Black Tusk take all the ingredients Kylesa, Rwake, and to a certain extent, Mastodon have been kicking around, and attempt to make a run for it. The Southern commonality between these bands might not activate actual Southern-styled riffing, but you know where the band resides based on the riff plumes of “The Weak and the Wise,” or “Truth Untold.” The distortion is maxed, the grime, the dirt, as well as the supplemental conventional rock angle with indecipherable, shouted vocals are there as well.

How a band like Black Tusk and presently Kylesa start to sour on people is easy: their vocals are crap, and the riffs are copied and passed around like a piece of trailer park trash, so the geographic tags placed on them become misnomers and cover-ups. Therefore, Tend No Wounds might be a primer for what lies ahead for Black Tusk, but it’s a classic case of caveat emptor.

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