It’s the week before that god-forsaken holiday we call Christmas (irony — top score). We’ve crossed into winter. it’s the final edition of Drinking With Satan in 2015. I’ve been drinking fairly heavily for five hours thanks to another absurd holiday-themed work party and it has been a genuine pain in the ass keeping myself functioning long enough to deal with this tonight. Count yourselves lucky, because I don’t want to be here. That being said, if you take pleasure in other people’s misery, this week’s edition might be more enjoyable to you than most. I wish I cared.
What an intro that is, right? Whatever. I don’t give a shit. And you know what’s so god damn ironic about the whole piece of shit thing? I’m actually in a better place in the winter than in the summer. See, the thing is, everyone is in a good mood in the summer. Or they pretend to be. And that makes sense. It’s warm, comfortable, and people are outside pretending to enjoy themselves. Maybe they actually are, who knows. And that’s absolutely swell for most. But when you’re as genuinely cynical and apathetic as I am, the darker, bleaker months become more important. It’s not that I feel better in any given season, but the grim months of winter allow me to better appreciate the elements of my personality that I can actually grasp. They are more understandable. It’s when the days get short and the air gets sharp that I am more able to thrive in my cynical state of existence. The weather matches the personality. And I like it when things match. For some reason, it becomes easier to acknowledge my desired state of solitude and completely embrace it. Some people are naturally warm and welcoming to other humans. I don’t like them. They make me uncomfortable.
ANYWAY. I guess I should sum up my last couple of weeks. Aside from the usual adventures, I’m recently single again, which has been great. And anyone that offers any form of sympathy… eat me. And I mean that with complete sincerity. Honestly, it’s incredible how one’s emotions are never as natural when they know someone else directly reacts to whatever they are feeling. It’s fascinating, really. “Are you ok?” “Of course!” Bullshit. That kinda stuff. Seems like a pain in the ass. Or maybe I’ve been involved with the wrong people. Who cares! Aside from that everything has been mint. The end of 2015 is right around the corner and I have had an absolute blast reviewing all kinds of amazing shit from the past year. Really, the last two weeks have been on long bender. It’s been aggressive.
But that’s not why we’re here today. There is still plenty of black metal dropping in the next couple weeks that need some attention. In my search for the proper material to cover for this evening, I have been throwing back a wide variety of beers. I have had two Stoneface IPAs, clocking in at 7.2%, two Great Rhythm Resonations at 5.2%, two Smuttynose Winter Ales at 5.8%, and a butt load of Sierra Nevada Celebrations at 6.8%. The first three beers are local gems that I drink regularly because I’m a local beer snob (they are all based in Portsmouth) and Sierra Nevada is just amazing. Popular with good reason and the return of their Celebration is as good of a reason to celebrate this time of year as anything. But bottomline: I am hammered as shit. And it happened way earlier than I wanted it too. Alcohol covered, the subject of this month’s Drinking With Satan will be the Drama/Perdition Winds Split that happens to drop on, fittingly, Christmas Day. Merry Satanmas. Oh, and it drops on Satanath Records. God damn perfect.
The first side of this split features Drama’s “Create Your Death” and “Gloria Mortis”. The former of these tracks opens with a rather deliberate cadence with a very embracing percussion element to it. I mean, it’s dark, sure. But it’s structured in a rather organized fashion, making it easy on the ears. It’s hard not to tap your feet to this one and want to come back and repeat the track a few times. Not to mention that the five-plus minute track features a rather catchy chorus. Honestly, it’s just a very straightforward black metal track that listens like melodic death metal. The closing leads/solo only further that cause.
“Gloria Mortis” is longer and more technical. The precision of the early leads and blast beats are welcomed, even if they are completely cluttered. Whatever, I welcome it. The pace slows dramatically once you get into the heart of the track, becoming very doomy in style. Which, let’s be real, I’m a fan of. When you hate yourself, doom metal is awesome. In fact, this song is almost crippling in how dark and dense it is. While I think the breakdown in the middle of the song doesn’t make a ton of sense, I’m overall into it. And then the pace picks up into a consistent rhythm that is kinda hard not to become addicted to. Especially when the percussion explodes into a far more spastic pattern again. Overall, Drama has shown a reasonable amount of creativity and ability within these two tracks. Great job, gang.
The Perdition Winds side of this split is far more chaotic. It’s a single track at over 13 minutes. The production is not nearly as clean, which is kind of annoying, especially give the intricacies that are apparent in both the guitars and bass in the early stages. It makes more sense as you work through it, but it feels a bit like Perdition is trying too hard to pound its audience into submission… unsuccessfully. Or maybe that’s just my apathy talking. And then there’s that bass interlude at the six minute mark!… that doesn’t work at all. The sting of the leads that follow are quite good, however. I enjoy the way the rest of the song gallops along until its terminus. It’s adequately cohesive for this split and help ensure this thing closes as strongly as it kicked off. But there’s no question the range this split shows as a result of the earlier stages of this particular track. No at cohesive or listenable, but appreciated for its extended ambition. Or something.
One thing I want to mention, because I’m a sentimental piece of shit, is the fact that I am opening each and every one of these beers with my Metalhand.com bottle opener. I bought this fucker at Wacken and basically anything from that festival that came home with me is cherished. Actually, there’s a cool story there that I’m going to tell now because I’m drunk enough. As I was waiting for a band to play, I walked to those guys’ merch tent. I asked them how much. They didn’t speak English. So I waved money. They waved a beer. We eventually came to the understanding that if I bought something, they would give me a beer. Best beer I ever drank. True story. Isn’t that best story you’ve ever heard in the last five minutes? I love you.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”