Viking's Choice

Black Tusk: Keg Party At The End Of The World

Black Tusk. i i

Black Tusk.

Geoff L. Johnson hide caption

itoggle caption Geoff L. Johnson
Black Tusk.

Black Tusk.

Geoff L. Johnson

"Carved in Stone" opens with a crusty, pile-driving riff that makes you wish summer weren't over. Black Tusk feels the same way — the photo of the band drinking in a truck-bed swimming pool only confirms it.

Listen: Black Tusk, 'Carved In Stone'

Cover for Set the Dial

Carved in Stone

  • Artist: Black Tusk
  • Album: Set the Dial

Set the Dial comes out Oct. 25 on Relapse Records.

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Bred from the same swampy waters as like-minded metal bands Kylesa and Baroness, the Savannah, Ga., sludge-metal trio has always been a bit more about the backyard keg party than its peers, which is exactly what kicked my ass when I first saw the band play a Boys and Girls Club at the 2009 MACRoCk Festival. Last year's Taste the Sin sacrificed some of the debut album's kick-ass-ery to streamlined production, but with no time to spare, Black Tusk is already back with Set the Dial. Black Tusk has figured out how to raise hell and sound slick all at once, which you can hear in this premiere of the album's fastest track, "Carved in Stone."

Guitarist Andrew Fidler told me over email that "Carved in Stone" is "heavy metal and it's about the end of the world! So crack the finest Busch beer you can find and enjoy!" Can't argue with that, but he continues:

This song is in the middle of kind of a three-part song. I say that because all three were written in succession, and they all have the same theme and talk mainly about the overall theme of the record. The songs I'm speaking of are "Mass Devotion," "Carved in Stone" and "Set the Dial to Your Doom." We decided with this record to write about the idea of the impending apocalypse or the doom of mankind. "Carved in Stone" was fun to write, because it deals with a few things: The title is a hint to the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world. You know, the clock winding down, as it were. It also seems that every religion preaches impending doom, as well, so the song also talks about that and [about] our general distrust of religion and religious prophecies altogether. The rest of the song is all doom and gloom — "There'll be nowhere to run!"

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