Review Summary: Taste the Sin sounds just like its cover-art suggests.
For a state that, thanks to things like the minting of State quarters and the Allman Brothers, is primarily known of for its peaches, Georgia's metal scene is anything but sweet. Taking cues from the state's gnarled, heavily bearded past, the bands that have emerged from it over the last decade have more in common with General Sherman's “total war” conflagrations and the disgusting backwoods of Deliverance
than the fuzzy fruits. Acts like Mastodon, Kylesa, and Baroness have torn their own ways through the shady South, but despite their different paths, they've all retained certain characteristics such as hulking, monolithic riffs, booming cave-man vocals, and a reverence for nitty-gritty bayou blues. Blacktusk is no different. A good give away is the John Baizley cover art. For some people that's all they'll really need to know about Blacktusk's new album Taste the Sin
, as having Baizley do you album art is sort of like what the Nintendo Seal of Approval was to Super Nintendo games only applied to metal.
Blacktusk take a no bullshi
t approach to Southern Metal. While their contemporaries are expanding the sound by adding influence from classic rock and prog, on Taste the Sin
Blacktusk stick with the barnstorming approach of semi-sludgy down tuned power chords and cascading walls of percussion that propelled their 2008 debut Passage Through Purgatory
. From the opening tom rolls of “Embrace the Madness” to the thick, rip-roaring down strokes of “Toe Fry”, Blacktusk bang out jam after crusty jam with the power and fury of Sherman's march to the sea. Unfortunately, much like its predecessor, Taste the Sin
's greatest asset, its unrelenting pace, is also its downfall. Although perfectly executed on a song by song basis, Blacktusk's refusal to venture out from their comfort zone can become grating as every song relies on the same build ups, patterns, and structures so that if you start to look for anything more than an album to test out your headbanging skills, you come up a bit on the short side. This lack of diversity is why Blacktusk are currently stuck playing second fiddle to their brethren in Mastodon and Baroness. That's not to say that Blacktusk haven't made an album worthy of your time. Taste the Sin
is a promising example of the furious side of Georgian metal scene that is only hampered by the band being afraid to stray from their safety net. Here's hoping that next time they are willing to try something new, because you can only play the same old songs for so long before people start to catch on.