Regular readers of this column will notice that Vincent is absent, he is sick but recovering and we hope he is back to full strength soon. With that said, you are stuck with me for today and I’ve got a killer pairing in store for this Receiving the Evcharist: In-Defilade‘s Elude and Buffalo Trace‘s Blanton’s. What’s that you say? No beer? Nope, not this week but trust me you won’t be disappointed and if you are I promise Vincent will be back soon.
The Metal: In-Defilade‘s Elude
When you hear the term “death metal” what do you think about? That’s for you to answer and honestly that might have been an unfair question, as for me I think of ruthless speed and precision in the vein of Hate Eternal and early Morbid Angel. North Carolina’s In-Defilade pull from this highly rich vein on sophomore full length Elude and come away with an album that’s as merciless as it is technical but altogether a tremendous success for the band and genre alike. Yes I know that’s awfully high praise and particularly so since we’ve already had a banner year for death metal but there’s always room for the kind of band that kicks in the doors, grabs everyone by the throat and takes no prisoners. Militant on tracks like “Fearing the Worst,” a shade of black on “Make Them Eat Glass” and thicker than a day old pool of blood on “Infecting the Ranks” this three piece journey through everything I hold near and dear to my heart in regards to death metal. Just in case you haven’t quite gotten the message, membership here covers Nile, Narcotic Wasteland, Darkmoon and Vesperian Sorrow, among others, so with that strong of a backbone and their imposing grip on life itself there’s little doubt as to what you’re in for here. But don’t take it from me, grab your own copy of Elude as well as the band’s debut Rulers of Famine and see for yourself. This is death metal at its aggressive peak — precisely how it should be.
An album as good as Elude should be paired with an equally good libation. And the good people over at Buffalo Trace Distillery have just that kind of spirit in Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. Now, for those of you that know me this will come as absolutely no surprise that my pairing for such an epic album would be this particular bourbon — I’ve probably single handedly kept them going at times (not really). For everyone else, I challenge you to pick up a bottle at your local package store and tell me you disagree. And yes, you actually need to like bourbon to appreciate this one. Everything from the ornate spherical bottle to the collectible stoppers (they spell Blanton’s, I’m only missing one letter) to the perfect balance of caramel, vanilla and spice that has just enough bite while remaining smooth all the way through the lingering finish that you never want to end. Bottled at a consistent 93 proof it’s definitely not one for swigging but rather enjoying at a leisurely pace. There’s a reason this bourbon has been one of the best for nearly 30 years and one sip is all it takes to understand why. Depending on region and demand, of course, expect a shelf price of anywhere from $55 to $100 but know that whatever you pay, every cent is worth it. Sure, there are more expensive bourbons out there and you’ll hear tales of this one over that one as bourbon is truly an individual experience but for my money, this is the pinnacle. And a perfect companion to top tier death metal.
That wraps up this week’s adventures into death metal and bourbon. I hope you enjoyed it and I really hope you’ll explore this amazing pair. Separately they are great but together they are astounding. Please wish Vincent well and with any luck he will be ruling over this piece once again next week. Until then, cheers.