How much hell can swamp-metal powerhouse Black Tusk bring to this earth? Enough to make you think an AC-130 gunship firing 4,000 rounds of depleted uranium per minute was knocking on your front door. As any Afghani will tell you, that is a mess of hell. On Taste the Sin the trio's sound is a mash-up of sludge and post-hardcore thrashiness, resulting in heavy, precise and energetic tunes.
Guitarist Andrew Fidler's shriek is reminiscent of Slayer's Tom Araya while bassist Jonathan Athon's vocals are throatier, but not Cookie Monster growls. The vocal trade-off makes for bruising sonic contrasts. Drummer James May joins in as well on "Red Eyes, Black Skies," and the band never sounds better. Whip-quick time changes, a plodding breakdown and fat guitar hooks mark this tune a 10 on the "Let's Punch Something" scale of punching. Overall the album is a nine, meaning I really want to punch a giraffe in the face. "Unleash the Wrath" includes a positively rank bass breakdown, and in "Embrace the Madness," Athon shouts that he wants to "rip your face off." Don't say I didn't warn you. Like the AC-130, this album is slow and heavy, but packed to the rafters with firepower. All killer, no filler.