Album Review: Tuskar - Matriarch
Reviewed by Neil Bolton
With a previous three E.P.s to their name, Tuskar have finally brought us a full length album. Any one who has witnessed their magical, bewitching live performances will no doubt be like me and be hoping that 'Matriarch' can capture that special something this band possess.
The title track is the beginning of this seven track beauty and it begins calm and broody. Menace and foreboding is in the air as the Milton Keynes duo build an atmosphere that leads to sludge vocals and a slow huge riff. There is no attempt to build a quick radio friendly track here, if Tuskar want to pour feedback and distortion into your ears they will, and I am grateful for this. With only drums, guitar, and vocals this band paint a dark aggressive picture. They get into a grove, and a riff and ride it relentlessly, forcing the listener to close their eyes and nod their head. This is devastatingly good.
The mood skips and speeds when the next track begins. 'To The Sky' is already out in the world with a video filmed from the tour with Boss Keloid. Rolling drums and vicious guitars once more give a bed for the vocals to sit and writhe upon. Members Tom Dimmock, and Tyler Hodges have a chemistry of trust and talent that shines in their music. They have no issue with offering up a beautiful instrumental track in 'The Trees, The Trees, The Trees' before the pounding drums once more build for the next song to another crushing riff that will flatten venues and audiences all over this green Earth.
The recording and mix of 'Matriarch' is perfect, providing a warm but dark feeling throughout the album. The vocals are angry but never take over any song. The huge soundscape of this band is captured flawlessly. Skilful musical passages flow and attack with sharp intent.
The seven and a half minute song 'Shame' embarks on a relaxed opening, but you know a punishing punch is just around the corner. It comes and you greet it with open arms and a wide smile. There is a special kind of pain exhibited in Hodges vocals, giving 'Shame' a sludgy and uncomfortable aura. 'Grave' completes this glorious doom, sludge masterpiece with power and precision . Again Tuskar have offered up a video to accompany this song, a song that is dripping in song writing craft and skills that should elevate these two further and further up the metal hierarchy.
'Matriarch' is a glorious album that certainly succeeds in capturing the power and punishing atmosphere that Tuskar create in a live setting. The bawling vocals, meet impressive musical dexterity creating a marvel of beguiling metal music.