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: Mehenet’s Ng’ambu and Deschutes Brewing Company’s Black Butte.
The Tunes: Mehenet’s Ng’ambu
If there’s one thing that black metal, above perhaps all other genres of metal, has the ability to do, it is to draw influence from a place. Black metal regional scenes offer much more diversity between themselves than, say death metal scenes do, because black metal is much more interpretive than other genres, and much more easily shaped by nature and culture of certain places. Take the nature-inspired black metal that dominates the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the psychedelic darkness of Icelandic black metal, or the romantic poetry influenced Dutch black metal scene; these all bear the hallmarks of the places they were given life. It is in this tradition that New Orleans’ Mehenet find themselves, infusing their black metal with pieces of the city they call home. Drawing from the Afro-Brazilian religion of Quimbanda, of which the members of Mehenet are all involved, alongside samples of French Quarter music and gothic church tower bells, Ng’ambu takes many cultural touchstones present in New Orleans and marries them with cold, ritualistic black metal that manages to reach almost grindcore levels of intensity and velocity when it truly lets itself off the reins. It is a perfect marriage of genre and theme, and manages to carve out a unique space in American black metal, while also capturing a wide view of all the darkness, hedonism, comraderie and vital spirit of this unique place.
The Booze: Deschutes Brewing Company’s Black Butte
Sometimes you just gotta say, hello old friend. Literally, that is exactly what I said out loud as I picked up a pack of Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte porter in the grocery store. I have no idea why it’s been so long since I’ve had this in my home, considering it’s one of my favorite porters out there, but the great thing about old friends is that no matter how long its been since you’ve talked you can always pick things right back up where they left off. Black Butte is deliciously roasty with subtle coffee vibes and a smooth, caramel-lite finish. It’s not too aggressive anywhere, but it’s as malty and complex as it needs to be to get the point across. Winter’s perfect session beer.
Cheers, and be good to each other,