I’ll admit to being a tad under prepared this week. Normally, I will have a particular release in mind when I set up to write this column, but for whatever reason the last few batches of releases haven’t had much to interest me beyond what I’ve already reviewed. This is where Bandcamp becomes my best friend. Simply scrolling through the newest metal releases has saved me time and time again when I need new music in my life, and tonight is no exception; I managed to find a great album I missed from a few days ago that works perfectly tonight. Let’s get into it. The Metal: Death Like Mass’ Jak Zabija Diabeł. The Booze: 101 Cider House’s Black Dog.
The Metal: Death Like Mass’ Jak Zabija Diabeł
It is a stroke of very good fortune for me that I stumbled upon Death Like Mass. Though cloaked in pseudonyms, I have reason enough to suspect that several of the members of this Poland-based black metal trio are involved in other projects that I am enamored with. The definite presence of the vocal antics of “Mark of the Devil” of Cultes des Ghoules fame (credited here as “Pestiferous Preacher”) is enough to sell me, yet Death Like Mass has much more to offer than simply the sum of its parts. This is an entity to be respected in and of itself, and Jak Zabija Diabeł is a credit to the overflowing talent of the Polish black metal scene. Sinister in atmosphere and furious in pace, the three tracks on Jak Zabija Diabeł are filled with thrashy riffs, sickening melodies, and rapid-fire drum blasts, all taken over the top by the unhinged vocals. No quarter is given to the listener, one is only pulled further down into the maddening ecstasy of death worship.
The Booze: 101 Cider House’s Black Dog
My last encounter with 101 Cider House left me with a very favorable impression, so when I saw Black Dog on the shelf of my local liquor store, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Black Dog is an apple cider flavored with blood orange and lavender, and colored with activated charcoal to give it a deep, hazy black tint, as well as certain probiotic benefits. This may just be the healthiest Evcharist I’ve ever done. Most importantly though, Black Dog is delicious. The smooth finish of the lavender perfectly contrasts the bright sour flavor of the blood orange, making for a delightfully satisfying drinking experience, no matter how weird the drink may look or seem. I’ve not had much experience with herbs in my ciders, but after the Thai basil in the cactus pear cider and the lavender in the Black Dog, I’m wondering why I didn’t experience this sooner.
So there you have it. Saved by a timely Bandcamp discovery, I managed to stumble upon a great release I would have missed if I had not waited until the last minute to form a plan. Sometimes luck is with us and things just work out. Hopefully I won’t need a repeat performance, though.
Cheers, and be good to each other,