Regular readers of this column will no doubt notice brother Vincent’s absence. He’s on his way to Fire In The Mountains, and I’m not, so you’re stuck with me this week and lucky you, I’ve got a brutal death metal pick paired with an amazing bourbon choice. So buckle up buttercup, this might get bumpy. What exactly is so bumpy you ask? Read on, dear readers and by all means drink up, you’ll need it.
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: Fluids’ Exploitative Practices and Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Weller Antique 107.
The Metal: Fluids’ Exploitative Practices
It’s the moment in Hostel when the achilles’ tendon is cut or the flaying scene in Martyrs or even the human kabob scene in Cannibal Holocaust that evoke such feelings of writhing disgust and the pit-of-your-stomach type of despair knowing the suffering involved is on an incomprehensible level. Yet we return to these, and other, brutal scenes as the twinge of wretched discomfort boils in the depths of stomach acid and immense headaches. Somewhere in that whole equation sums up the experience of Exploitative Practices, the debut full length from Arizona’s Fluids. At the height of its powers, it’s a juggernaut of brutal death metal with an acrid noise-esque atmosphere and as if that weren’t enough, it also brings machine gun style grindcore (“Shot,” “Wrapped”) and deep bone rattling slam (“Hauled”). Even the track list reads like a recipe for how some unlucky soul in any of the above-mentioned films could’ve met their fate. This thing bleeds the bile and unsettling nature that brutal death metal is supposed to capture and Fluids spare nothing to force you in time after time after time. If any of the above was taken as a negative or slight in any way let me be crystal clear here when I say that Fluids nailed every aspect of what this kind of death metal should be. Achievement unlocked and trophies should be given out. Full stop.
And one other thing, if wretched death metal is your cotton candy and you’ve yet to jump on the Maggot Stomp Records train…what in the world are you waiting for? This is what they do and they do it oh-so-well.
The Booze: Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Weller Antique 107
It took me all of about the length of that first onslaught of “Caught” to realize my alcohol side of this piece had to be strong enough to cleanse but good enough to savor whilst writhing along with Fluids atrocities. Buffalo Trace Distillery has yet to let me down and they continue that streak with Weller Antique 107. Full disclosure, this is not my first rodeo with this bourbon which is why I knew it would get the job done. It’s a wheated bourbon meaning wheat replaces rye as a secondary grain so the corn’s (primary grain) sweetness and vanilla notes from the barrel are more up front in taste and nose. But, that’s just the beginning as a quick swirl of the glass ignites the alcohol and deep caramel syrup notes. The taste is even better than the smell; spicy in a candy sort of way with hints of vanilla (again), and nutmeg while the oily mouthfeel makes it last long after the stomach has welcomed its new bounty. The aftertaste is pleasant and at 107 proof a second glass brings on the warming sensation that warns any further exploration beyond this may result in the floor coming up to say hi. The only downside to Antique 107 is that, for me, it’s hard to find, not Blanton’s hard to find, but still not your everyday-on-the-shelf bourbon. But, the below $40 price tag means that whenever the gods bestow it upon me I stock up, as one does. Anyway, the burn of this bourbon kept me disinfected for the duration of Exploitative Practices and gave me another opportunity to enjoy it – to which I never need a reason but always welcome a chance to pull out the “special” stuff.
In the spirit of brother Vincent: Cheers, and be good to each other,