Black Tusk + Zoroaster
Empty Bottle; Tue 6
Pop charts associate Georgia with R&B superstars, crunky rappers, Athens hipsters and country-music hit machines. Yet, while the mainstream wasn’t looking, the Peach State has become a dark crucible for a new generation of metal band. Black Tusk isn’t the biggest of Savannah’s unholy threesome of heavy rock acts, which include Kylesa and Baroness. But the trio is coming up hard and fast. That aptly describes the sound of Taste the Sin, its third and latest album.
The cover art, by Baroness frontman John Baizley, depicts a drooling nymph cradling a pair of suckling piglets against a backdrop of skull and floral imagery. It’s nice to contemplate and shows solidarity with the scene, though, unlike its peers, there’s nothing about the band that shouts “soundtrack for pagan fertility ritual.”
Instead, this is classic, punch-in-the-gut fare, with three-minute songs driven by rapid, staccato riffage pneumatic drums that drive their point home with the authority of a nail gun. Don’t visit the barber this week.
Fellow Georgians Zoroaster share top billing on this Summer Southern Burn Tour. While sure to impress the faithful with its reputation as Atlanta’s loudest band, the trio may also be its most ambitious. Its new sophomore disc, Odyssey, is as heavy as it is trippy, deploying slow tempos, ambient drone and experimental instrumentation to derail the juggernaut and send the music spiraling toward psychedelia. That charred smell wafting through the air this holiday might not be a grill.