Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Between the Buried and Me’s Automata I and Johnny Walker’s Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky.
The Metal: Between the Buried and Me’s Automata I
Unpredictability has always been the calling card of North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me. Since the massive blast of “Selkies: The Endless Obsession” off 2005’s Alaska the band have taken their frenzied blend of progressive metal to more and more theatrical heights. Automata I is the first half of a massive concept record (part II is tentatively slated for June) that finds the band back on heavier ground, although no less kinetic or ambitious in showing that you need not shy away from every and any influence, as long as you have the chops to back it up. And immediately on “Condemned to the Gallows” they do just that. Tommy Giles Rogers at this point can do anything with his voice, and it’s put to full effect during the song’s rapid-fire shifts between full on tech-death and sprawling, epic rock. The other major tracks on the album: “Millions” and the heavyweight “Blot” show the rest of the band not only living up to the ambition of the music, but pushing further than they ever have: quite a feat when you consider their heady discography. At under 40 minutes it may feel a little light for a Between the Buried and Me release, but as only one half of a complete experience Automata I just whets my appetite for what’s to come.
Speaking of things that are half of a beautiful whole, let’s talk about Johnnie Walker’s Double Black, which constitutes 1/2 of my current favorite cocktail: the classic and regal Rusty Nail (I’m old, sue me). Featuring a smoky sweetness it sits a bit thicker than the regular black. In the metal lexicon I would call this Blacker Than Black. Ice in this instance helps bring out the mix of flavors, so those snobs who only insist on having their drinks “neat” can go sit in the corner and sulk in their turtlenecks while you enjoy the full effect. Or, you can find your bifocals, grab some Drambuie and add an equal amount in with some ice and savor the sultry notes of my current favorite libation.
It’s Friday, and provided his liver’s up to it Vincent will be back next week to take you on a dark voyage through some of the best metal and drink pairings the Beelzebrewer can think of. I’ll catch you in the metal ether talking about whatever hits my ears. Until then:
Cheers, and be good to each other,