Formed in 2005, on a solitary street in the heat of Savannah, GA, Black Tusk is a ferocious heavy metal trio comprised of Andrew Fidler, Jonathan Athon, and James May. Their mutual residence in Savannah was not the only immediate connection between these musicians – they soon found that the colossal noise they created together was a raucous and innovative addition to the south’s esteemed legacy of head-banging, jaw-dropping, blood-boiling heavy metal. Combining sludgy stoner riffs with punk rhythms and elements of thrash, Black Tusk creates what Spin.com calls “a frightening blast of hellfire” and a style of music that defies categorization. It simply demands your attention.
In the band members’ own words, Black Tusk’s sound can be best described as “swamp metal,” pursuing the humid murkiness of sludge metal into deeper and darker terrain. This style was instantly evident on the band’s 2007 debut, The Fallen Kingdom, which they self-released, as well as 2008’s Passing through Purgatory, released on Hyperrealist Records.
In November 2009, the band signed to Relapse Records and crafted their breakthrough record, Taste the Sin, released in 2010 and featuring beautiful artwork from John Dyer Baizley, frontman of Black Tusk labelmates and aesthetic brethren Baroness. Taste the Sin attracted both a strong cult following for Black Tusk as well as critical adoration, hailing it as one of the top metal albums of the year. Pitchfork Media called the album “the rare crossover record that works to capitalize on the immediacy of its chosen genres and not to bend them into obscurity.” Meanwhile, fans lauded the album’s progression from Black Tusk’s beginnings as well as its unique, blistering sonic assault.
In June 2011, Black Tusk head to Seattle to work with noted engineer Jack Endino (High on Fire, Soundgarden, Bruce Dickinson). At the end of October they released their new full-length 'Set the Dial.' Again their cover art was designed by John Dyer Baizley, who has illustrated all of the band's releases. Sputnik Music says of the album: “An admirably fierce, genre-bending sludge metal album that perfectly reflects the hell-raising attitude of its creators."
Black Tusk will release a new EP 'Tend No Wounds' in July 2013. The EP was recorded with producer Phillip Cope (Kylesa, Baroness) at the Jam Room in Columbia, SC. The artwork was created by Brian Mercer (Eyehategod, Lamb of God, Zoroaster).
Black Tusk has toured the globe extensively and garnered a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in the metal scene. Black Tusk’s intense musicianship as well as the shared vocal duties by each member of the band makes for a truly fascinating display of talent that BrooklynVegan calls “mind-blowingly fun.” Having performed shows with bands such as Pentagram, Down, Weedeater, High on Fire, Mastodon, Red Fang, Eyehategod, Tombs, Municipal Waste, Royal Thunder, Intronaut, and 3 Inches of Blood, Black Tusk have placed themselves right at the top of the pile of today’s most talked-about metal bands and have proven themselves to be fully capable of holding their own within the context of several decades of heavy music. Additionally, Black Tusk has had the honor of performing at Scion Festival, SXSW, Roadburn Festival, and as well as Metallica’s Orion Festival (June 2012).
Black Tusk seems like a band that is only getting started. As they tour the world, Black Tusk is bringing their sound to a constantly growing audience as their music evolves into uncharted territory. At this point, there is no stopping them.
White Light Cemetary
“I have a soft spot for this type of sound, heavy rock in the spirit of Down and Black Label Society, mixing Sabbath riffing with Southern warmth a-la Lynyrd Skynyrd. But still, it's a type of music that can be easily done in the wrong way, if it lacks heart and skill, and drop into a simple copy of stuff that's already been played. Doesnt happen here. Where other bands in the same mold seem to have failed recently, see the latest Birch Hill Dam, White Light Cemetery gives five tracks of great riffs, heavy beauty and warm melodies, balancing the southern touches with that slight smokey, electric despair that Down seem to have matched so well. And they also have a great, powerful vocalist which is always a plus.”
— Andrea Contanzo, Doom Mantia
“Meet Lafayette’s own White Light Cemetery! On the band’s Myspace page, their bio reads… Raise your glass!!!! White Light Cemetery is a band based out of South Louisiana. Formed in the winter of 2008, with members hailing from all over North America; The only goal is to create a pure and organic sound, that naturally happens when the band is in a room together. To form a sound, based in tried and true tradition, but new; Belonging to everyone and no one, all at once… Channeling the vibe of bands like Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Black Sabbath, the guys have put together a great self titled debut. With songs like “2001 Maniacs” and “Dead and Bleeding”, these guys are tearing up on the local scene. You’ve heard a clip of ”2001 Manics” on-air in the Local Stew promo, but you can hear the song in it’s entirety below. Make sure to catch the guys live Saturday July 9th at The Station Bar & Grill along w/ Southern Whiskey Rebellion and Carrion.”
— Tard, Planet Radio 105.1. The Local Stew
“White Light Cemetery is a low chugging band of Southern brother-dudes, cranking out dirty metal and corrosion steel. I like them. And they have a good band name – always important. If you like pulverizing riffage, thunder sounds and diamond bags filled with white lightning seeds, you will dig them too.”
— Dege Legg, The Pipeline on The IND
“Grant Street has it going on all Mardi Gras week as well courtesy of some hefty bookings by Bodacious Brother Toby Dore. On March 3, the dark poet of rock & roll, Dax Riggs, comes to town with his full band to lay down the jams. On March 4, Austin’s T-Bird & the Breaks hit town with their soul, blues and sing-a-long revue. On March 5, Lafayette and Mardi Gras in general get a much needed does of some metal with White Light Cemetery, Vermilion Whiskey and Hot for Teachers. On March 7, it’s a Lundi Gras zydeco freakout with recent Grammy winner Chubby Carrier, Rockin Dopsie, Jr., Buckwheat Zydeco, Lil Buck Senegal and The Soul Express Brass Band. ”
— Dege Legg, The Pipeline on the IND
“Back in 2009, when we were first getting this festival thing started, White Light Cemetery headlined the very first Burning Crawfish. After missing last year's fest due to member changes and unavoidable situations, I am excited to have these awesome dudes back again this year! These guys have a great heavy, southern rock style....which you can see for yourself here....”
— The Burning Crawfish Festival