Published Oct 14, 2011Black Tusk have slowly been building a name for themselves as one of the rising stars of Savannah, GA's metal underground. With Set the Dial, their upcoming fourth album and second for Relapse Records, the band have proven they are indeed big players in the metal scene. And they did it by releasing their most rock-ish album yet.
"It's a little less thrashy, a little slower, and a little heavier," drummer James May tells Exclaim! in a recent interview. "We really let these songs breathe this time so we could get a bigger sound; sometimes less is more. We would describe this one as more of a heavy rock album."
May agrees that Black Tusk feel both more concise and more comfortable on this album, a result of the band being together for a long enough time now that they indeed are at ease with who they are, and with who they want to be.
"At first you start a band with some idea of what you like and want to sound like and your own sound develops from that," he says. "As the years have gone by, I think we've got a pretty good idea of what Black Tusk is."
And what Black Tusk is at this point is a sleek, streamlined machine, a band taking the bass-heavy downtrodden sounds of sludge metal and filtering them through rock sensibilities, creating a disc that is enjoyable and fun like stoner rock, yet brutal and heavy enough to keep the extreme metalheads happy.
"We feel really good about it," May says about the album. "It seemed to come out as good or even better than we thought. We're excited to play the new stuff live and get back on the road more than anything. Set the Dial is just the next chapter in where the music takes us. Who knows what the next album will be like? We never know 'til we start writing."
Set the Dial is due out on October 25.
Set the Dial:
1. "Brewing the Storm"
2. "Bring Me Darkness"
3. "Ender of All"
4. "Mass Devotion"
5. "Carved in Stone"
6. "Set the Dial to Your Doom"
8. "This Time Is Divine"
9. "Growing Horns"
10. "Crossroads and Thunder"