Things I like: Satan, alcohol, black metal. In that order. Not really. Maybe. Regardless of order, when the time came to give myself a column, the obvious solution was to combine the three. Needless to say, the end result will inevitably be pure gold. Satan and black metal are best appreciated under the heavy influence of alcohol, anyway. But how exactly will these subjects combine? I’ll tell you. Duh.
Once a month I’ll either hand myself or be handed a black metal album with which I have no prior experience or familiarity. Ideally, the band will be unexplored as well. I will drink heavily, press play, and then drink more heavily while listening. What I share with you are those initial responses and reactions to whatever the fuck I am hearing. I will not go back and edit my words. I will not do any research on the band I’m reviewing. And I assume my editorial staff will keep whatever I write below completely unedited. (It’s for Satan, after all.) I will simply listen…and write. And it’s going to be a pain in the ass, but it’s going to be fun—more for you than me, but that’s what it’s all about, right? You jabronis.
Now let’s be clear: I don’t drink once a month; I don’t listen to black metal once a month; and I don’t reflect on Satan once a month. I do all of those very, very frequently. But I want to combine them all once a month…for you. Because I care. And I’m unselfish.
Anyway, Episode 1 of Drinking with Satan features Nordfrost’s Naturgewalten, and along with that, I’m drinking Oskar Blues’ G’Knight (coming in at 8.7% ABV), Lagunita’s NightTime (8.2%), and Knob Creek Straight Bourbon Whiskey (because I love whiskey). I’ve already had plenty of the all of the above. So. I’m drunk. And… well, I’m drunk. Let’s have some fun. Alcohol.
By the way, by the time any of you read this, I’ll be far up in Baxter State Park for three days of backpacking in the wilderness. That’s like… a six hour drive from here. And I can’t fucking wait. So in a way, the timing of this is impeccable. But not. But also yes.
Anybody else think of the ents from Lord of the Rings looking at that artwork? I mean, it’s cool and all… but I can’t take it seriously. A dead forest is very serious though. I hate humanity. We need a plague. Or we need nature to be better about murdering a lot of us. Get your shit together, Earth! Anyway, I’m at G’Knight number… four? They’re delicious red ales but they pack a punch. I got some NightTimes and Knob Creek to sip in between. Ya know, when a 9% beer isn’t quite enough booze.
“Einklang,” the intro to this thing, was weird. Kinda folky, spoken lyrics, wind instruments I think I remember. I don’t know. Not really into it. The title track seems better. But it kinda feels like something like Equilibrium decided to get more black metal and focus on way shittier production. The vocals follow the guitar leads (still poorly produced) note for note and it’s not interesting. I wish this didn’t sound like it was under water. The vocals are cool. Kinda all over the place between the high shrieks and low end growls. That’s neat. This album is 11 songs. I can’t wait to lose focus and go off on random tangents.
As we move forward, this has a very pagan feel. Even acoustic at times. It’s super pleasant. More pagan than black metal. But for that I am sad. You know what’s interesting? How death metal is a genre that is partially defined by the lyrics. You don’t get that often with other genres. How would that work with other stuff? Would black metal require a certain amount of Satan in the lyrics? Metalcore a certain level of hating/missing your ex-girlfriend? I don’t understand! Either way, this requires for Satan. Granted, it’s in German. I don’t know what the fuck they’re saying. Maybe this is entirely about Satan and I’m the biggest asshole on the planet. Drunk.
“Klage der Toten” sliding into “Nebeltor” got my attention! We had a brief acoustic interlude, so I grabbed another drink. But we had some crazy dark, echoing spoken lyrics to close out that interlude and then moved into a far more aggressive track… the latter mentioned above. The echoing lyrics are definitely starting to have an imprint on this album, and in a good way. The instrumentals are very pagan still, borderline power metal (sorry). I guess I can’t be surprised after my Wacken experience (there’s that thing again!). I learned that those folks still love their true metal, even if we don’t. I don’t mean that we don’t love it, I just mean that we loved it about two decades ago. Maybe. I like these solos though, very diverse, occasionally influenced by styles of the past, and it forms a really nice blend of sounds.
The intro to “Ode an den Hochwald” tries way too hard to sound like it’s from Equilibrium’s Sagas, and I am sad. *Swigs Knob Creek*… don’t expect me to able to use an asterisk again tonight. And I’m on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong. This whole thing is catchy thanks to its pagan folk elements, but catchy doesn’t mean quality. Or good production. I’m on to another beer and another shot of Knob Creek and am starting to get bored. I still like the lyrical diversity though. Big words. “Kampf mit den Wanen” is very to-the-point in its aggressiveness. Very fast-paced and consistent. I tend to think an acoustic interlude is coming… *grabs more alcohol*.
I would love a nap right now. The medieval sounds and whispered lyrics of “Am Ende ward Frieden” aren’t helping! Dude, but seriously, I’m super drunk. I really like the tremolo picking on “Wotansstum” but standing isn’t an option anymore. But the atmospheric black metal… And this might be the closest thing we get to it this week. Or from this album. Not this week. I’m dumb. And by dumb I mean drunk. That said, I love the closer “Letzter Ritt” because it’s the closer. But also because it’s a really interesting ten minutes of a wide variety of forms of metal. From pagan, to more deliberate demonic styles, to traditional black metal influences, it has some variety. WHAT YEAR IS IT. Very diverse in pace and atmosphere, it really is a good way to close things out. It’s a better way to kick things off… but they fucked that all up. BRB roommates are home.
Alright so anyway. I’m sure we close nicely. Or not shitty. Meanwhile, I can barely stand. And I need sleep. So let’s call this a wrap. Seriously guys, I’m really hurting. Nordfrost isn’t that interesting and could really take any kind of differing approach to black metal that’s available. It’s boring. I don’t care. And I’m drunk. Blow me.
Too many biers… bitte.