Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8th, 2012 - Last Rites For Virgin Stout

By the brewers rites bestowed up me by my Dark Brew Master, this evening we sacrifice a virgin... a Virgin Stout ("wink, wink, nudge, nudge - say no more, say no more!") to the infernal metal that is Mercyful Fate!  All hail the devilishly insane falsetto of King Diamond!  All hail the fiery riffs and guitar acrobatics of Hank Shermann and Mike Wead!  All hail the thunderous and driving rhythm of Sharlee D'Angelo (bass) and Bjarne T. Holme (drums)!  All hail Mercyful Fate!
So, in pairing Mercyful Fate's simply titled ninth album, "9," I thought I would go dark... dark and rich with a Virgin Stout, brewed by Zion Canyon Brewing Company.   Named for the Virgin River that cuts through the Zion Canyon like a sacrificial blade, the Virgin Stout is an earthy, chocolaty, smooth stout that pours an almost black, deep amber with a very thin head and minimal lacing.  The nose is malty with notes of coffee, rich soil, and smoked barley.  The flavor is smoky and well layered with notes of dark chocolate, coffee bean, and There's a subtle bite as well, but with a clean finish.
I've read a few rather unflattering reviews of Mercyful Fate's 1999 album, "9" and I frankly don't get it.  This album is fan-fucking-tastic!!  One reviewer even stated that this was a "parody" of early work.  Whatever!!  (Isn't all great metal a damned parody?!)  Anyway, to hell with them... "9" is the work of an evil genius!  Every song is a wonderful composition of evil absurdity!  I think I actually like this album more than the early and "classic" Mercyful Fate of the early 1980s.  The song structure is complex, rich, dark, and mesmorizing... so fitting for a stout!  The guitar work on the track "Insane" alone is... well, insane!!  From the opening track, "Last Rites" to "Burn In Hell" to "Kiss The Demon" to "Buried Alive" to the finale, "9," this band lays down a sonic mind-blow with layers of musicianship, intensity, and straight-ahead head banging!  No filler, no duds... every song on "9" is a brutal assault of evil profundity!
So if you are in the mood to "sacrifice" a virgin or two tonight, get yourself some Zion Canyon Virgin Stouts, light some candles (carefully set out like a giant pentagram in your driveway), and blast some "9" by Mercyful Fate! Your neighbors will love it!!  ;)  Hails!!!  And cheers!!!

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