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The History of Heavy Metal in 9 Wines / Part 3
The third & final part of Tom's History of Heavy Metal in 9 Wines...
If you missed the previous blogs from the series, read Part 1 here & Part 2 here.
Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark (1992)
Formed at the same time as Motorhead - and also spearheading the greatest revival of heavy rock (all from the UK) - but went in a more sophisticated and musical direction. This song, to my mind, is the greatest heavy metal song ever written - it has something everything I love: harmony, daft sense of humour, brilliant musicianship, thundering beats and the perfect song for audience participation (which is what it is all about). It has a slow and lingering start, but then explodes into life driving you from melody to melody. The changing characteristics blend a variety of different (grape?) styles but all the while melding into a gorgeous and magnificent whole.
Barbaresco Santo Stefano 2012, Castello di Neive
Riffing on the fact that Nebbiolo, first described tome as having the interlocking arms of high tannin and acidity which need to be prised apart to release the fruit, is the iron maiden (medieval torture implement) of grapes. Also Nebbiolo was first vinified in the cellars (dungeon?) at Castello di Neive by Louis Oudart in the 1880s. A little tenuous but no denying the wine's slow burn character, visceral power but harmonious and ultimately infectious qualities made it a good match. A week after the tasting I was drinking with a fellow 67 club member who has a business venture with Bruce Dickinson and apparently Bruce had been delighted to hear about the pairing when news got out...
Guns n Roses - You could be mine (1992)
And so heavy metal finally took hold in America. And boy did they take it to heart. This wild band pack an early punch with this song - and leave little room for prisoners. A wonderfully powerful, creative early start that then builds into a dark and menacing song - descending into a full blooded American howl - demanding ownership of all around - perhaps a terrifying ode to the worst of capitalism.
Marienburg VDP Grosses Gewachs Rothenpfad 2014, Clemens Busch
I was tempted to track down Jean Baptiste Senat in Minervois' ''Arbaletes et Coquelicots'', named for the band but also we noticed we were very shy on white wines and when a friend suggested on Facebook that Axel Rose's piercing, falsetto shriek mirrored the penetrating acidity of greatMosel Riesling I decided to look in that direction Clemens Busch Grosses Gewachs Rothenpfad (GGR for G&R?) is smoky with crushed slate and quivering citric acidity, leaner and more intense in 2014 than riper years, this is visceral juice, with a fiendish complexity and profundity worthy of an epic Slash guitar solo.
Metallica - Nothing else matters (1991)
Remember Motorhead? Well they spawned a massive new musical industry - Thrash Metal. (and it gets worse - Death Metal etc). The biggest Thrash Metal band of all time are Metallica - the Americans getting gin on the act again - but just to prove this isn't all thundering guitars, volcanic drums and shuddering vocals - here's a ballad from them from their most successful album. Surprisingly gentle start with great sophistication. A brooding yet easy feel - becoming stronger as it develops. It remains very harmonious and moves at a gentle pace but there is no denying the deep power later - but with a gentle and soft aftertaste.
Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Gramercy Cellars
I nearly gave in to the urge to go with a terrible pun and wheel out a Verdicchio di Matellica, but thankfully pulled back, instead choosing one of favourite U.S. reds. From Washington State's Columbia Valley, the Lower East is more a reference to the specific track as the band itself. Metallica, more associated with full-throttle, massive tracks would normally fit better with an over-ripe 15% Napa fruit bomb and Gramercy Cellars are more in to their Rhone blends but this is the ballad of the album, softer, more subtle, still lushly-textured but less volume.
P.S. Tom - I know you said 8 songs - so I stop here. But if I'm allowed to sneak one in whole we taste the left-overs then this song shows the future...
Linkin Park - Crawling (2000)
And so heavy metal embraces the future. This song (another American band) is brilliant belnd of heavy metal, rap and dance fusion. It is not for the faint hearted - and blends styles that you would have never expected in a way that is, for those of a like mind, quite stunning. But it is very much for the cognoscenti....
Linkin Park - a controversial inclusion but easily dealt with when Will, our events coordinator and professional percussionist, said ''they are fusion and shit''. With such as assessment, there was only one critically unpopular, hybrid grape to turn to...
Music selections and accompanying notes c/o Charles Garthwaite.
Written by Tom Harrow
Published on: November 16, 2016