Hey, HEY! Been a loooong time since I covered these waters but I’ve got a good pairing in store so let’s drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offerings: Midnight‘s Let There Be Witchery and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select.
The Tunes: Midnight – Let There Be Witchery
Memories through rock n roll and heavy metal’s history may be foggy but everyone has heard of the times when Elvis, KISS, The Beatles, and insert band names here were considered to be music straight from Satan sent to poison the youth and the earth. Hence why we eventually got those bumbling idiots called the PMRC but man did that sell some damn records, lol. Ever since 2011’s Satanic Royalty, Midnight has been THAT band for this generation due to their filthy and raucous lyrics, racy album covers, and speedy Satan metal, and I love them for it. For their fifth full length, Let There Be Witchery, Athenar himself calls it “unfiltered savage animalisticness” and a cursory white knuckle cruise through the ten tracks offered prove that statement even though it’s no surprise to anyone who’s ever heard them. While the course is not altered significantly from the past, opener “Telepathic Nightmare” showcases an exquisite mastering of d-beat groove while “More Torment” dips a toe in near doom pacing compared to the rest of the album, and weirdly enough it sounds somehow sleazier like a slow motion meth bender. Elsewhere, “Frothing Foulness” and “Snake Obsession” stick and move like the Venom influenced Midnight we all know and love and tracks like “Let There Be Sodomy” and “Szex Witchery” bring back the FILTHY that was dialed back a bit on Rebirth By Blasphemy. If anything, this album puts an exclamation mark on a tighter outing highlighted by the almighty sex, Satan, and rock n roll and that’s exactly what I want from Midnight. Motörhead will live in infamy for a lot of reasons but they were always reliable and never once strayed from their chosen course, Midnight is that band now with their chosen course and they’re doing something in metal that no one else can pull off as well as they do. So, slap this on, chug some whiskey and Let There Be Witchery!
The Booze: Jack Daniel’s – Single Barrel Select
Speaking of chugging whiskey, for this pairing I pulled out a recent, local store pick of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select seeing as how it’s A) a tried and true name in whiskey and B) this particular strain of JD is amazing. Now, JD hasn’t been a go to, or even a thought, for me probably since high school back when Jack and (a splash of) Coke was what I preferred in my red solo cup. Maybe it was a case of overload or maybe it fell by the wayside when I got into bourbon, I don’t really know and it really doesn’t matter here. However, when I started seeing the Single Barrel Select offerings hit the shelves my curiosity peaked and at the time $45 was about what I was paying for a handle of Makers Mark so I took Athenar’s attitude and said “fuck it.” After trying a bottle, or four, I liked it…alot. So, when my local store got in a barrel pick it was a no brainer. With my initial shelf pick and this store pick, the typical JD 7 taste is nearly non-existent and in its place are notes of caramel, subtle spice, subtle fruit, and that oh-so-good barrel char that I’m used to with bourbons. For the store pick however, banana and oak are very prevalent with the caramel notes falling in the midrange to make it a somewhat sweet affair. The proof is a moderate 94 but it drinks like an 80 proof which can be dangerous as it goes down so smooth with very little heat or burn of any kind. The finish is the only thing lacking here as it’s missing the initial flavor bomb when it hit the tongue, but that’s a small gripe and not enough to keep me from going back and buying a case. The mashbill on this one comes in at 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye which depending on tastes and preference, can be one hell of a sweet spot. Imagine my surprise some thirty years after high school coming back around to a brand I’d all but put in the rear view and finding an absolute gem that in a blind tasting made me think it was bourbon. And, that’s about the highest praise I can give to a whiskey. I’m floored, and glad, and have plenty to keep me going.
Cheers and as brother Vincent says, be good to each other,