There’s a reason why Black Tusk refer to their sound as “swamp metal.” Not only is their brand of metal the murkiest, dirtiest sludge to come out of Savannah since Kylesa, but like the swamps it’s named for, it’s easy to get lost in and challenging to escape from. That’s the magic of Taste the Sin, Black Tusk’s debut for Relapse Records. There’s no prog wizardry or noodly, atmospheric head trips to get caught up in. Instead, Black Tusk delivers ten tracks of big and dirty Southern doom/sludge that draws you in with its simplicity, daring you to enter its murky depths. Once you’ve entered their world, prepare yourself to be taken on a relentless hell ride. The first line of the album opener, “Embrace the Madness,” is like an invitation, urging the listener with the lines “Time is coming, heed the sound, rip your face off, thrash around.” From then on, the album hurtles itself toward the finish line with single-minded determination. With almost all of the songs clocking in at under four minutes, it’s clear that Black Tusk aren’t interested in squandering time with patient build-ups and delicate layers of synthesizers. Subtlety is tossed to the wayside in favor of intensity, making Taste the Sin a condensed and incredibly satisfying listening experience.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney