Black Tusk Release New Single “Breath of Life”

Black Tusk are debuting their new single “Breath of Life” with Decibel Magazine. The video was produced by Alexandra Petrovich. “Breath of Life” comes ahead of the band’s new album, The Way Forward, which is out April 26 on Season of Mist. 

“‘Breath of Life’ was a fun one to work on”, says Chris “Scary” Adams. In addition to playing guitar and contributing vocals, Scary also produced and mixed The Way Forward at his studio Hidden Audio. “There were a few iterations as we were riffing alone, but once we all got together it really took shape. That’s my favorite part about writing collaboratively. It really does come to life when everyone contributes”.   

“‘Breath of Life’ is a bludgeoning track that showcases the new versatility of having a second guitarist”, says bassist and vocalist Derek Lynch, who makes his debut as a member of Black Tusk on The Way Forward. “We decided to bookend the chaos with some experimental synth parts that I feel set the tone for what’s to come”.    

Watch the video for “Breath of Life”:

Don’t miss the chance to see the band’s new four-piece lineup on April 26, when they ring in album number seven at their free hometown record release show!  Joining the party are special guests Bronco and fellow Savannahians The Maxines.

Black Tusk will then hit the road for more shows with their fans down south.

The Way Forward Record Release Show
April 26 – Savannah, Georgia @ Congress St. Social Club [Free Show]

Black Tusk 2024 May Tour Dates 
May 23 – Atlanta, GA @ Boggs Social & Supply [TICKETS]
May 24 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub [TICKETS]
May 25 – Stuart, FL @ East Ocean Pub [TICKETS]
May 26 – Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs [TICKETS]

1. Out Of Grasp – 2:47
2. Brushfire – 2:22 [LISTEN]
3. Harness (The Alchemist) – 2:35
4. Lessons Through Deception – 2:14
5. Breath Of Life – 5:12 [WATCH]
6. Dance On Your Grave – 2:54 [WATCH]
7. Against The Undertow – 3:06
8. Lift Yourself – 3:31
9. Ocean Of Obsidian – 2:50
10. Flee From Dawn – 3:38
11. The Way Forward – 4:40
Total runtime: 35:54

Style: Sludge Metal
For Fans Of: Mastodon, High on Fire, EYEHATEGOD, Iron Monkey, Weedeater

Praise for Black Tusk

“A raucous style of punky, hard rocking sludge, with minimum fuss and ample bursts of energy and ballsy aggression” – Angry Metal Guy

“Chaotic and raw, but also extremely catchy and memorable” – Metal Injection

“A no frills band that goes full throttle. Black Tusk are here to stay” – Heavy Music HQ

An engine-wrecking riff-fest from the Savannah badlands” – Metal Hammer

“Black Tusk are pretty much the only Georgia metal act who still sound like they hail from the home state of Sandra Dee and Uga” – Invisible Oranges

Alive, raw, furious, loud…they almost make your face vibrate” – Heavy Blog is Heavy

Black Tusk’s combination of sludge, rock, hardcore and death metal remains fluid, fertile and most importantly, full of life” – Pitchfork

Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright

“The big theme of this record is putting your life back together.” That’s Black Tusk guitarist/vocalist Andrew Fidler talking about the band’s new album, The Way Forward. “When everything seems like it’s against you, put your head down and push through. Take those bad things that are happening and use them to help create.” 

The Way Forward might be the Savannah swamp metal crew’s seventh album, but it marks many firsts for Black Tusk. It’s their first with their new lineup, which sees guitarist Chris “Scary” Adams and bassist Derek Lynch joining Fidler and drummer James May. Which also makes it Black Tusk’s first record with a two-guitar lineup. “We were able to add leads and harmonies and all kinds of stuff on the new record that we haven’t done in the past,” Fidler says. “As far as our records go, this one has the most guitar work.”  

You can hear it in the squealing solo of “Dance on Your Grave,” the killer harmonies on ripper “Harness (The Alchemist),” and the glorious dual guitar interplay of the powerful title track.  

“‘The Way Forward’ is my favorite song on the record,” Fidler says. “It’s based on a personal experience that everyone can probably relate to. I got divorced in 2020, and I kinda felt like my entire world was collapsing when that happened. But I pulled myself out of it. I realized that this one thing ending in my life isn’t the end of everything. I’m gonna find a way forward. I’m gonna figure out how to live my life and create and be happy and make new relationships. Which is what I’ve done.”  

In true Black Tusk fashion, the new lineup has expanded their triple-vocal approach to quadruple. “Everyone is doing vocals,” Fidler says. “That’s always been a thing in Black Tusk. Derek said he’d never done heavy vocals before, so I was like, ‘Well, here’s the mic. Here’s some words. Yell at it and see if you like it.’ I was blown away the first time he did it. It sounded good as fuck.”   

That’s Lynch on lead single “Brushfire,” a song for which he wrote the main riffs and lyrical concept. “That was my first real contribution to the band,” the bassist says. “Thematically, I wanted the aggressiveness of the lyrics to keep with the idea of pushing forward even when the world is trying to drag you down. The mood of the lyrics needed to match the pulverizing tempo of the song.”  

The lyrics for second single “Dance on Your Grave” were written by May, who moved from Savannah to Athens, GA, in the time since Black Tusk’s last album. “It’s about his struggles through Covid and what this lifestyle can do to people,” Fidler says. “It’s about getting past the party lifestyle and continuing to do things that are creative.”  

Meanwhile, “Breath of Life” distills Black Tusk’s lyrical philosophy into a righteous five-minute pummeling. “Scary came up with the main riff of this song, and it’s one of my favorite riffs on the record,” Fidler says. “I wrote the lyrics, and it’s just about darkness crushing everything. The world is a fucked-up place that we have to navigate through. That’s what a lot of Black Tusk songs are about.”  

Black Tusk recorded The Way Forward at Adams’ own Hidden Audio studio just outside of Savannah. Adams engineered the album and the whole band produced. “I actually helped him build the studio in the detached garage next to his house,” Fidler explains. “Me and my carpentry company went out there to do it, and Scary helped.”  

“We had about 90% of the riffs and song structures going into the studio, while still experimenting with ideas and inspirations,” Adams explains. “Sometimes we completely reworked parts, which made all the difference. For example, early versions of ‘Breath of Life’ and ‘The Way Forward’ are quite different than the record, and I love where they ended up. Though we did use a few effects and synths here and there for texture and space, to me this record still feels raw and powerful. It captures the feeling of being at a Black Tusk show.”  

The cover art for The Way Forward was done by Brian Mercer, who also created the sleeve for Black Tusk’s 2018 album, T.C.B.T. “T.C.B.T. had a dark cover because it was a dark time for the band,” Fidler says, referring to the period immediately after the passing of their longtime friend and bassist Jonathan Athon. “This time, it’s full blown, full-color Black Tusk. Brian Mercer and James collaborated on the concept, and Brian really knocked it out of the park.”  

“The title is kind of a double play,” Fidler says. “It’s the first record with the new lineup, and this is the direction we’re taking the band in. We’ve been doing Black Tusk for 19 years now, and we still love it. That’s why we called it The Way Forward.”  


Andrew Fidler: guitar, vocals
James May: drums, vocals
Derek Lynch: bass, vocals
Chris “Scary” Adams: guitar, vocals

Recording Studio
Hidden Audio

Producer/sound engineer
Chris “Scary” Adams

Mixing studio and engineer
Chris “Scary” Adams

Mastering studio and engineer
Brad Boatright at Audiosiege

Cover artwork
Brian Mercer

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