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: Civerous & Stygian Obsession’s Heralds of Affliction and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
The Tunes: Civerous & Stygian Obsession’s Heralds of Affliction
Even though I went on a screed about my disinterest in the murkier, blackened strains of death metal earlier this year, 2020 seems to be a year committed to making me eat those words, first with Ruin Lust’s Choir of Babel and now with Heralds of Affliction, a new split between West Coast acts Civerous and Stygian Obsession. Civerous’ side kicks things off here in brutal fashion, with the fist-fight inducing riffs of “Forms of Decrepit Brilliance,” moving into a brief interlude before “Decay and Decline” whips things back up into a frenzy. There is a lot more going on in these songs than status quo for blackened death metal, whether that’s a focus on doomy sections washed in ambiance or slam death breakdowns that are surprisingly fun in this context. Stygian Obsession, by contrast, presents a much more straightforward vision of blackened death metal, but one that is no less enjoyable to listen to. Leaning much more on old-school death metal motifs and spicing things up with ripping black metal aggression and murky atmosphere, the act’s four songs contributed here present a sinister take on death metal, full of the stomp and swagger of classic death metal but given hideous new life with modern cavernous style. Both bands here manage to make death metal that is as fucked up as possible while still being memorable and fresh, and it reminds me why I went in on this niche style of metal in the first place.
The Booze: Buffalo Trace Bourbon
I thought maybe it was about time we move off of beer for a week, and after the week it’s been, I definitely needed something stronger. Luckily enough I managed to track down one of my favorite bourbons at a reasonable price amidst the fuckery that has become American grocery stores, so we’re going to celebrate that tonight. Buffalo Trace doesn’t seem, to my eyes anyway, to get the same kind of love you see other Kentucky bourbon get, which is a shame because it’s much more widely available, very affordable, and really tasty. I’ve had this thing both straight up (as I am now) and in cocktails, and it’s versatile enough that works well doctored up or on its own. It’s incredibly rich in flavor, trading some of the spice and heat you can get from other bourbons for much sweeter, deep caramel notes. The roundness of the flavor makes it an incredibly smooth, easy drink, perfect for late nights spent sipping in quiet contemplation. Or for pairing with death metal. Dealer’s choice.
Cheers, and be good to each other,