After the release of two incredibly promising and well received EPs (2017’s Arianrhod and 2018’s The Tide, Beneath The Wall) the debut album from Milton Keynes sludge duo Tuskar is finally here. Bold, crushing and hypnotic, Matriarch is a towering piece of work full of thundering and labyrinthian riffs, raging vocals and ten-ton-slab drums, all of which are, very occasionally, punctuated with moments of eerie calm and restraint.
The opening title track crawls into existence on a bed of pounding toms and a gnawing, repeated guitar refrain before exploding into something truly untamed, the crushing riffs of guitarist Tom Dimmock so dense they almost take on a tactile existence. The relatively short and snappy ‘To The Sky’ is another highlight, the frantic riffs of the song’s middle section poised to batter every listener into submission. The raging ‘Into The Sea’ recalls a more ferocious Mastodon, whilst the trippy ‘Halcyon Glit’ which follows the subdued, dreamlike ‘The Trees, The Trees, The Trees’, recalls Baroness at their heaviest and pushes vocalist/drummers Tyler Hodges’ earth-shattering tones to the fore.
With an excellent recording courtesy of Joe Clayton, Tuskar have produced a remarkable debut that brims with confidence, verve and promise. A recent stint supporting the mighty Boss Keloid brought their sound to a wider audience and on Matricarch Tuskar have given their growing fanbase something truly special to get their teeth into.
Matriarch is out now via Church Road Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg