After the last few weeks of sipping summer beers and listening to ‘lighter’ metal, I’ve decided to pull a u-turn and get aggressive this week. I’ve been flying non-stop all week due to some extensive projects outside this blog and I’m more of less relaying on everything to keep my energy up (and my aggression up). So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to couple the legendary — yet often neglected — Swedish death metal outfit known as Hypocrisy with a small scale distillery in the local area called Smoky Quartz. So I guess it’s time for that introductory thing I do. The Metal: Hypocrisy: A Taste Of Extreme Divinity. The Booze: Smoky Quartz Distillery’s Bourbon Whiskey.
The Metal: Hypocrisy – A Taste Of Extreme Divinity
The 2009 release from Hypocrisy really was an interesting. At this point in their extended career, the Peter Tägtgren fronted had logged ten previous studio albums and they unquestionably had seemed to fall into a trend. This album didn’t necessarily break that trend (or comfort zone, depending on perspective), but they delivered it with so much consistency and purity than either of the three preceding albums. And the anger and aggression felt far more genuine. Even more curiously, the subsequent End Of Disclosure was fairly significant step backward. But we’re not here to talk about that, just mentioning it to provide context. Really, this album can be said to lead the charge in the most recent era of Hypocrisy music (post 2001 I’d say). While better individual songs are out there in the Hypocrisy discography, Divinity deserves praise to its consistency. There isn’t a week moment on this album. You get your healthy dose of those signature melodic, deliberate styles with “Solar Empire”, “Global Domination”, “The Quest”, etc. But this album made sure to never retreat far from the raw aggression and hatred that marks Hypocrisy’s stronger moments of the years. “Tamed (Filled With Fear)” and “Weed Out The Weak” are unquestionably two of the strongest tracks on the 11 track listen. I could go on and on about this album’s quality. But I’m going to take this break in the action as a opportunity to move on to the other piece of this puzzle.
This past Father’s Day found me checking out a distillery not five miles from where I spent my childhood. I grew up in Hampton Falls, NH, and Smoky Quartz happens to have sprung up in neighboring Seabrook about two years ago. Needless to say, I was due to check it out. The space was very cool, very small scale. The drinks, however, were… curious. I had the opportunity to sample all their products (vodka, moonshine, bourbon, rum), and they all had a bit of twist on them compared to some of your household names. Not a bad thing. I walked out with a bottle of their bourbon ($27.99 for a 375ML), because, well bourbon is amazing. Unlike most bourbons, which use a blended mash, this particular batch is distilled from 100% corn. And it makes a difference. Neither better nor worse than some of my go-to bourbons, this particular drink (served neat) has an added bite on the nose, but goes down surprisingly smooth with a bit more sweetness than I would have expected. Only aged at eight months, it tastes a bit young, and definitely could serve to spend a little more time in oak. The flavor just lacks a bit of complexity. A solid bourbon, to be sure. And I understand the need to get product out the door when you produce at some a small scale, but I’ll be interested to see how future batches of their bourbon turn out. But it’s definitely worth stopping in and checking out if you’re ever in the area. A few tour, few samples, and easy-going staff help the cause tremendously.
And that, thankfully, wraps up another week. I’m trying to remember if anything exciting is happening this weekend. I don’t think so… So I’ll probably go hike and ignore humans like I usually do in my free time. Yeah, that sounds good. Anyway, enjoy your weekends everybody!
“Ein Bier… bitte.”