Teetering on the brink of extinction. Fairly large tapaculo with a long tail and a crested forehead. Males are uniform slaty-black and females are dark brown above and rusty below. The song is a descending series that starts slowly and accelerates towards the end. Occurs in a few disparate patches of humid forest and forest edge, where it forages on the ground. The similar Slaty Bristlefront has brown on the rear of the body, and females have darker underparts; the song of Slaty is lower in pitch.