I remember the early '90s, and the birth of "alternative" or "modern rock" radio. I remember getting home from school and flipping on the radio, hearing a Sonic Youth track followed by a Clutch track followed by a Nirvana track followed by thirty minutes of commercials. I remember my brother in the room next door, listening to Biohazard and Pantera and calling me a pussy. Portland’s native sons Black Elk sum up the early '90s – with an overwhelming emphasis on the heavy side of the musical spectrum.
One crucial comparison that must be made is The Jesus Lizard – Black Elk front man Tom Glose apes David Yow’s strangled yowl unlike anyone else. Musically, this tribe of heavy hitters lays down a thick metal-influenced sludge heap, overtop of which a subtle melodic electric guitar wails. There are a few "oddball" moments that deviate from the relatively played out alterna-metal format, but the crushing vice of extreme riffage ultimately rules Black Elk’s universe. 7/10 -- Bryon Hayes (28 January, 2009)