You already know what it is. Or, actually, maybe you don’t, because once again I’m going off the beaten path to bring you something unexpected, but nonetheless delicious. 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 offerings: Fange’s Pantocrator and Satanic Tea Company’s Dead Splendor.
The Tunes: Fange – Pantocrator
If I’m not mistaken, Fange is the first repeat offender on my list of bands that I’ve reviewed in these hallowed halls. Last year, I was smitten with Pudeur when I got the chance to jump on its physical issue, and when I saw their name pop up in our list, I knew I had to jump on it. On their newest release (their fourth release in two years), the band continues its efforts to never make the same album twice, this time playing with longer formats and putting out just two tracks, although each clocks in around fifteen minutes in length. Both tracks, “Tombé Pour La France” and “Les Vergers De La Désolation,” expound on the harsh noise and electronic characteristics that have always set Fange apart from the crowd. On Pantocrator, the trio make a switch to fully electronic drums, which add an almost industrial vibe to their signature groovy, crunchy riffs. The guitars in particular also use the increased space the long tracks provide to explore post-punk and experimental lines and techniques in addition to sludge and death metal. Pantocrator is a truly immersive experience, and while the relatively short length of the album leaves me wanting maybe just one more track, it’s an easy release to loop and dive deep into.
Booze Beverage: Satanic Tea Company – Dead Splendor
Speaking of repeat offenders, it should come as no surprise to anyone that when Imperial Triumphant goes in on a brand deal on just about anything, I’m there for it. In this case, the band has partnered with Canada’s Satanic Tea Company for a signature blend of smoked black lapsang with, what else, 24 carat gold leaf. It’s not the most far-fetched combination, especially if you’re even remotely aware of the personal brand of the band. Black tea with flecks of gold is kind of an iconic look for them, but the flavor itself might be the most surprising part of the experience. The gold flakes don’t add anything in terms of flavor, just cool factor, but the smoked lapsang is something that I have been very eager to try. Upon opening the bag for the first time, the smoky notes are incredibly strong. It smells like a bonfire, but bonfire is one of my favorite smells, so I’m not exactly complaining. A careful brew leaves just the right hint of that smokiness behind in the tasting notes. The actual flavor of the tea is very mild, and very pleasant. It’s not overwhelmingly bitter or astringent, and there’s a natural subtle sweetness that a little bit of honey brings out quite nicely. The overall experience perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Imperial Triumphant’s music: at first glance, complicated and chaotic, almost to the point of excess; however, careful consideration and an open mind allows all the pieces to fit into place for quite a rewarding cuppa.
I love beer as much as the next person, but I’ve been having a lot of fun looking into other forms of libation, both to expand my palate and to support the artists who still need all the support they can get. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them, because there’s plenty more soon. Cheers, and get your shots if you’re able.