REVIEW: BLACK TUSK – “Pillars of Ash”
I often associate the sound of sludge with something akin to a party of sounds; something really fun. I guess Black Tusk’s newest offering ‘Pillars of Ash’ is a fun party that way.
Jumping right in, the album starts with a typically sludgy sound with “Gods on Vacation”. Any party would have to set itself to a good standard, and the opening track sets this for the entirety of the album. The consistency of the album’s intensity is its most appealing factor, and “Bleed on Your Knees”, “Born of Strife”, “Black Tide”, and “Walk Among The Sky” is a testament to that consistency. The album closes on a softer note with “Leveling” with its subtle and cosy ending. The songs definitely have a strong and heavy vibe across the album, along with some mutual sonic similarities.
The album spans a lengthy eleven tracks, but the short duration of the individual songs ensures that nobody will be left bored. I guess nice things sometimes do come in small packages! ‘Pillars of Ash’ features Anthon on bass and vocals, James on drums/percussions, and Andrew on guitars, vocals and piano. The music here does bring out the essence of dedication, passion and commitment that the band put in.
If I have any complaints, they are perhaps due to individual tastes and expectations. Even though it might have been a nice thing to have a common idea and sound across all the songs in the album, individual identity takes a back seat here, and musicality takes a beating in turn. Maybe that is what sludge is; unassuming and in-your-face. Maybe somewhere down the line, Black Tusk will innovate and break newer ground after a good record like this one. Sincerely speaking, ‘Pillars of Ash’just does not sound like something that was made for the heck of it. The songs off this record sound like they were made for a fast and tight live set, and for more than just being in an album.
‘Pillars of Ash’ is a job well done. The album is an invitation for anyone to let their hair down; “fun”, “pulsating”, “energetic” and “exciting” are the best words to describe it. One need not get extremely complex to create some fun music, and this album is anybody’s ticket to vent out without giving second thoughts. Moreover, the record’s production is fair, and there’s nothing to complain about in that area. ‘Pillars of Ash’ definitely qualifies as something with no formalities whatsoever, replacing it with a great “in-your-face” vibe.