Last year, Jonathan Athon, bassist for the great Savannah crunch-metal trio Black Tusk, died in a motorcycle accident. He was only 31. If you ever saw Black Tusk live, you already know that this was one locked-in band; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen three dudes enjoy being onstage together quite so much. It must’ve been an unbelievably hard decision, but Black Tusk are moving on without Athon; their new bass player is former Kylesa member Corey Barhorst, a friend of Athon’s. And early next year, the band will release their final recordings with Athon. The band recorded the new album Pillars Of Ash last year, with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind producing. It’s their first album since 2011’s Set The Dial, which I loved. “God’s On Vacation,” the album’s opening track and first single, is a blast of furious riffery that does the band’s legacy proud. Listen to it below, via NPR.
Pillars Of Ash is out 1/29 on Relapse.