Black Tusk

Tend No Wounds

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On their earlier albums, Black Tusk nailed their colors to the mast with a driving sound that infused the progressive sludge the South is becoming known for with the energy of hardcore, creating a rampaging blend the band referred to as "swamp metal." Though that intensity has served the band well, their EP Tend No Wounds finds them slowing things down a bit with a midtempo sound that gives their murky riffage a little breathing room. Although it's fair to say that "polished" isn't a term one would generally use to describe a band like Black Tusk, the sound on the EP definitely feels cleaned up, removing some of the suffocating sludge of their previous efforts while still keeping things plenty heavy. The thing is, that sense of claustrophobic hostility is what made Black Tusk such a thriving and volatile band, and without it Tend No Wounds feels a bit tentative. What's clear, however, is that the band is in some kind of transition, and despite all the pieces not quite being in place, it's easy to see how they'll all eventually fit together. This makes Tend No Wounds an album that, while by no means bad, is definitely more of a missing link for die-hard fans to get a taste of what's to come.

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