The mighty four-piece Serpents is a force to be reckoned with! Coming off the April release of their latest record Temet Nosce (Trve Media Music), the band is a musical movement pushing forward the popularity of both black and death metal with the ideals of a musical and artistic liberation presented through the lens of heavy music.
Temet Nosce is meant to be a call-to-action, if you will, invoking in you whatever lies behind, whether it be for better or worse. The record was produced by metal master and Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader. Coming to you from the United States, Serpents is led by singer and guitarist Andrew Mikhail, a veteran of many other popular metal bands, including Oceano, Defiler and Straight Line Stitch. They bring an infectious brand of venomous metal to the masses that strives to bring you a new “beginning of the end.”
Since their inception, Serpents have been widely praised as an underground artistic movement based off the benchmark created by their album releases, along with the powerful message they send and performances alongside bands such as Wretched and The Browning. Since the independent release and success of their 2014 album, Pestilence, Serpents have been growing by the year with Temet Nosce setting the bar even higher. The album and its eight tracks were recorded entirely in Mikhail’s own Chicago home studio. To offer you a special feature that only Serpents could deliver, lead singer Andrew Mikhail presents to you his TOP 10 drinks inspired by heavy metal bands. This is a solid and comprehensive take on the industry, so get ready to expand your mind and your knowledge.
Definitely worth the ten minutes is the latest Serpents music video for “The Sunset and The Silhouette:”
Andrew Mikhail’s Top Ten Drinks Inspired by Metal Bands:
“I’d like to preface this article by stating that I’m not a big drinker; as the occult teachings that I’ve prescribed to over the past ten or so years advocate, alcohol (and other things) inhibit spiritual growth. Now being that Serpents (U.S.) is pretty much an exercise in spiritual dominance that manifests into something tangible for you to hold; I absolutely need to control my vices in order to create more art for you all to enjoy (or hate)… but, I am a hedonist by nature. So I do what feels good when I want it and how I want it. Thus, we enter my Top 10 list of metal band-inspired drinks for when I’m flyin’ off the spiritual rails.”
01. Serpent’s Bite
Created by: Serpents U.S. and Adam Morgan of Husk Restaurant in Nashville, TN
Ingredients: Bottle In bond rye, garden herb cordials (a blend of herbs from the garden grown on the restaurant’s property and steeped in a rich syrup with a touch of whiskey), lemon, punt e mes Vermouth and Peychaud’s Absinthe.
– I’m going to be cordial and polite for this one because it is kind of a big deal for the band and myself. As a huge fan of Sean Brock and the Husk restaurant family, it is an immense and absolute honor for Serpents to be an influence of anything coming out of that establishment; whether food or drink. Finding out that bar manager, Adam Morgan, has been secretly instilling his love for metal via their famous cocktail menus only increases my love for Husk, and also gives me hope for our community as a whole. Personally, I feel that this is an instance where art transcended the politics and norms and truly gave purpose to what we are doing as artists… influencing others to create and better their lives for themselves and for their community. If you live in or plan to visit Nashville, grab one while you can!
The cocktail itself is delivered in a tight, crisp and aesthetically beautiful package. But then, at the same time, the boozy “punch” is sneaking up on you…like a snake waiting to strike. Overall, it might sting, but I think it’s rather refreshing, you know, like Serpents.
Budweiser | Back of House | Episode 1: Husk:
02. Black Tooth Grin
Created by: Dimebag Darrell Abbott of Pantera
About/Ingredients: Crown, Coke, Seagram’s 7
– This is an easy one because, well, if you’re reading this, you are probably a metalhead and already know what’s up. However, if you didn’t spend your formative years drinking Black Tooth Grins in your friends’ basements (and spewing all over their lawns in the morning), then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Which is ok. Let me “learn you” a bit then.
The Black Tooth Grin is simple, cheap, and strong. In return, that makes it a staple drink amongst metalheads, performers, and also pretty much anyone who has toured with any members of one of the greatest bands of all time… Pantera. And you may be wondering, “why would touring with them even be a factor?” Well, that’s because they would basically torture you into taking shot after shot, after shot, in order to keep up with them. Then, when you think you’ve had enough? Have one more to make you feel better. It may sound like hell, but this ritual was a spiritual experience for anyone involved; even if you were feeling like you may have just been poisoned.
After your “initiation,” you would then do the same to your buddies, and watch them slowly turn. Sadly, even though I had personally done my due diligence and kept this tradition alive I had the (absolute) honor of sharing stages and brews with some of these secret-sweethearts, but I was never able to share a cold one with the man himself… Dimebag Darrell Abbott, as he was tragically slain in 2004. The news of his passing rocked the metal world back then, and the news still stings to this day, especially since we have now lost Vinnie Paul as well. Sorry if bringing that up is a bummer, but I had to show some damn respect. Ok, I’m done.
Even though they are no longer with us, their souls lives on… big time. Memories are in the music, but the soul (or spirit) is in the brew. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re backstage at a metal show or at any metal bar, doesn’t matter where in the world, people are probably shouting “getcha pull” as they down one (or ten) of these bad boys. Smiling from ear to ear, as they probably point and laugh at one another for being less of a mess than the other. And if they aren’t, you run the hell out of that establishment or show, because well, you’re wasting your time being there.
Ok, maybe don’t run out of there. Get an Uber or something and casually leave. Actually, just ghost, because well…who wants to talk to anyone when you’re plastered. Am I right? Anyways, as you can see, the memories entwined with this simple drink are really a beautiful thing in my world. Hence why it is my number two. So, enjoy… responsibly?
How to make a Black Tooth Grin:
03. The Serpent Sacrament (aka “Champipple”)
Created by: Serpents U.S. and Al Slager, Fred Sanford
About/Ingredients: Cheap champagne. Red grape wine MD 20/20. Done. (And you will be too, after drinking this particular elixir.)
– A man that some call “The Pied Piper of Crete,” or just “Al,” introduced this to me, along with coffee blends as strong as your favorite uppers, thermogenic pills, and a killer curried-rice recipe from the great Aleister Crowley. Needless to say, only a few of those things stuck with me to this day. One being, The Serpent Sacrament.
Originally known as “Champipple,” this concoction is famed to be from the hit TV show Sanford and Son, as it is the choice drink of fellow curmudgeon, Fred Sanford. Now, being that it’s from a tv show does not make it child’s play by any means. In fact, this drink is not for the faint of heart, nor for anyone with a weak stomach. I’m laughing (in sadness) as I type this because I know that one glass (yes glass) will put you and your ass down, but not your credit score. Which is good news being that “tour beverages” are usually an unnecessary expenditure, but you can afford to make a jug of this poison for less than ten dollars.
It’s cheap, it hits hard, and the taste is bearable. Not much else to say about it. Mostly because I don’t remember much from the nights when drinking it. Onward!
Sanford & Son get some drinking done:
04. Olaf the Stout
Created by: Panopticon and Hammerheart Brewing Company
About/Ingredients: A seven percent ABV, American Imperial Oaked Rye Stout
– This one isn’t a band collaboration or creation, but this brewery’s name was chosen from the epic Viking metal album Hammerheart, by the classic Swedish metal band Bathory. And to go even further as to why this drink is metal as fuck, Hammerheart is partly owned by Austin Lunn of the North American folk metal band, Panopticon. Still not convinced? Well, this particular beer was also named after the brutal Norwegian king who ended the Pagan era in Norway, Olaf II Haraldsson; wherein this beer’s colour is also fabled to be “as black as Olaf’s heart.” All around, I’d say these guys are pretty badass.
Hammerheart Brewing is definitely a hidden gem, at least when it comes to Midwestern breweries these days. Being that they are from Minnesota, it took me a bit to discover them personally. Thankfully, the gentlemen from Thieves (Illinois) frequent this brewery often and turned me on to Olaf the Stout; bringing me a growler of this black goodness. In all my travels, I have never heard of Hammerheart and I think it’s a damn shame. I mean, when you think Minnesota, you really don’t want to go “brewery hunting” versus planning a night of hitting various breweries when in Chicago, Grand Rapids, or even Indiana. So, I’ll admit, I was sceptical at first, but when I had my first sip, I knew I was hooked. All-in-all, try anything and everything from Hammerheart. It’s all good. I promise.
Temet Nosce was released on April 26th, 2019 via Trve Media Music. View the artwork:
05. Permanent Funeral
Created by: Pig Destroyer and Three Floyd’s Brewing Company
About/Ingredients: A 10.5 percent ABV, Double IPA, bright and aromatic, yet fully loaded with a kick in the balls… a 3 Floyd’s Signature
– Three “fucking” Floyds. The dynasty that is 3F was first introduced to me by longtime initiate, “Personal Spiritual Guru,” and Three Floyds staff member, Al Slager (yes…the same Al that brought you drink number three). This guy had ‘em all. All the reserves. The variants. The basics. Whatever you wanted to try, Al’s got ya. Now, with that, one tends to develop a taste for the best of the best. The best being Three Floyds. If you disagree, I’m sorry for your loss, but have you tried Dark Lord?! Yeah, that’s what I thought…
Anyways, Permanent Funeral is considered one of the “basics” from 3F, which is why I wanted to put on my list at a humble number five position. Now, I bet some of you may already be scoffing at my choice, but I didn’t want my list to come off as snobby, even though I could easily take it there. I mean, we’ve all read those. You know, those lists that almost exclusively contain hard to find items; written pretty much just to flex on everyone that’s reading? Yeah. Not here, Initiates.
This beer is a collaboration with the mighty Pig Destroyer and will destroy almost everything that’s currently on draft at your local watering hole. If you haven’t tried this beer yet, chances are that you can probably get your hands on one rather easily, or at least ask your favorite bartender to put an order in for it. Bottom line, if you want to dip your feet into the craft beer world, or just simply want to try something “special” from 3F, try this beer.
Permanent Funeral – Double IPA || 3 Floyds Brewing – Beer Review #209:
06. Chupacabra (Red)
Created by: Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and Merkin Vineyards/Caduceus Cellars
About/Ingredients: A “shapeshifter” of a red blend wine, wherein, the same two things remain constant each year of its production… masculine and earthy tones.
– Every list of boozy beverages procured by a metal musician or publication has name-dropped Cauceus Cellars into their Top Whatevers, and being that this company is owned by the great Maynard James Keenan of Tool, it’s for damn good reason. Caduceus is quality, quality, quality, and with that, comes with a hefty-yet-justifiable price tag. However, in this particular situation, I’d like to say that I’m a bit of a realist. To the point that I often question the authenticity or validity of these said lists, because well, touring is expensive. When you’re living in a van, eating Taco Bell at 1 am, there’s not much left over from your five to ten dollar daily allowance to buy a nice 80 dollar (starting price) bottle of wine? Who knows, maybe I’m doing something wrong. I don’t know. Nonetheless, I’d like to keep this list “TRVE” and as honest as I can make it for you, the curious-yet-thirsty reader. So, what do I enjoy then, since I appear to be so frugal?
Well, beer was my usual go-to whilst touring, that is, until I toured with Dez and the DevilDriver boys. I didn’t drink it because I liked the taste of beer at the time, but I drank it because it was free, and I needed to get a damn buzz on (pesky back problems). Then one day, it all changed for me. I was invited onto the DevilDriver bus, and I foolishly offered the man himself, a domestic beer. A free, domestic beer. That they had on their own bus. Embarrassing. Thankfully, he saved me the embarrassment and kindly declined my offer, and in return, introduced me to the wonderful world of drinking wine on the road. Elegant and elevated, I felt like a savage no more! Shortly after, you would then find me at any house party in the states and abroad, double fisting two bottles of cheap reds (see number three), trying to turn the rest of the party on to the sweet nectar of Dionysus. Ah. Good times. Ok, back to Maynard…
Chupacabra is one of the many delicious wines from Maynard’s other offshoot brand, Merkin Vineyards, and it’s got a pretty price tag to go with it. Often described as a “shapeshifter” wine by Merkin themselves, each year yields a bit of a variance when it comes to taste, so, your typical wine snob probably won’t dig on this beautiful 20 dollar-holler-bottle of goodness but fuck ‘em. It’s affordable, it’s metal, and it also pairs well with your 1 am quesadilla. Thank you Maynard man. Ten out of ten. I would definitely recommend you bust one (or four) of these out on your next Tinder date, but do it way before bus call, be a god damn gentleman for fuck’s sake!
Wine Is Serious Business 60: Maynard James Keenan Wine Projects:
Created by: Marilyn Manson
About/Ingredients: A natural absinthe; distilled from Vermouth, aniseed, fennel, and other fine herbs. Also, it’s made without pre-sweetening or the usage of artificial flavorings to ensure the highest quality possible, which also appeals to absinthe lovers and novices alike.
– I was first introduced to absinthe whilst in the Czech Republic, as the gentlemen from Horse the Band had scored some of the “real shit” while we were in Prague. With the mantra of the night being, “living life at the top, when you’re at the fucking bottom” and being the frugal bunch we were, we managed to live it up like there wasn’t a tomorrow. As they brought the mantra and the absinthe onto our bus, they proceeded to haphazardly serve it to all of us by using the “Czech” or “Bohemian method” and for those who aren’t familiar, it’s basically a fire hazard in a glass. Lighting sugar cubes on fire, soaked in alcohol, pouring over a glass of (you guessed it) alcohol, in a bus filled with drunk and rowdy metalheads. Classic H-the-B.
Anyways, ever since then, I have been a closet fiend for absinthe, wherein I’d go visit local “absinthe bars” whilst on the road, and at home (when I have the money to do so at least). Years of searching for that same feeling that I experienced on that fateful night in the Czech Republic minus the fire hazards and angry Nathan yells of course. Yet unbeknownst to me, apparently, Marilyn Manson and I have been sharing the same affliction for quite some time except that he has a signature blend that he manufactures called “Mansinthe” and I don’t. So, kudos to you, Mr. Manson.
In conclusion, I’ve tried out the good, bad, and the ugly, and Mansinthe seems to be pretty even. It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst. However, it’s a metal-inspired liquor that I enjoy from time to time and you should too. Pro Tip: although unrelated, it’s even better when you’re listening to “The Green Man” himself whilst drinking “The Green Fairy.”
Also from Temet Nosce, here is the audio for “The Winds of Will:”
08. Crack The Skye
Created by: Mastodon and Three Floyd’s Brewing Company, Dark Matter Coffee, Hope For The Day
About/Ingredients: An eleven percent ABV, blend of: barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, fresh R.I.S., Dark Matter Coffee and vanilla. Very coffee forward with strong notes of freshly roasted beans. Similar to the Founders Breakfast Stout, but far more espresso and body… aka, a perfect pairing for a cold, winter night in the northlands.
– I, a Chicagoan, am spoiled by having such easy access to 3F, Dark Matter Coffee, HFTD (when I’m feeling down), and a rich metal scene. So I might be a bit biased with this one, as there are many aspects to this particular beer that hit home for me, so bear with me folks! As some may already know, September 5th to 11th is National Suicide Prevention Week, so Dark Matter Coffee, 3 Floyd’s, and Mastodon teamed up to do a special release that raises awareness and funds for a non-profit organization called “Hope For The Day.” HFTD is an organization that helps people and families of all shapes and sizes deal with mental health issues and suicide prevention.
Why does that matter? Well, this collaboration is called “Crack the Skye,” after the Mastodon album of the same name (which was dedicated to Skye Dailor, the sister of Brann Dailor, the drummer for Mastodon), wherein Skye, unfortunately, died of suicide at the young age of 14. So, it’s safe to say that this beer has special meaning to many, the Brann family, the band, DMC, 3 Floyds, and with its proceeds going to Hope For The Day, this is quite the collaboration. Not to mention, it’s just beautiful to see so many talented people and organizations come together for such a good cause. I guess you could say that it gives me hope? No pun intended. Overall, credits wise or just with its backstory alone, this is a special brew.
Now, with the simple fact that I love Russian Imperial Stouts, love coffee, reside in the Chicagoland area, battle my own inner demons on the daily, and have familiarized myself with most of these people and organizations in real life, I consider myself to have been very lucky to enjoy this tasty beer while it lasted, and to have been able to say that I enjoyed it for a good cause. However, I will caution that it is a bit hard to find nowadays, but I still feel that this beer is “top ten list-worthy.” So, apologies in advance to all who can’t get their hands on this today, but you can still show your support by donating to HFTD if you’d like.
3 Floyd’s Crack the Skye
09. À Tout Le Monde
Created by: Megadeth and Unibroue
About/Ingredients: A 4.5 percent ABV, dry-hopped Belgian-style saison.
– Named from a track on Megadeth’s 1994 album Youthanasia, and features the group’s mascot Vic Rattlehead on the label, À Tout Le Monde is a tasty Belgian that naturally has a hint of spice… akin to Megadeth’s Lord Mustaine and his fiery mane. That must be why it’s a Megadeth beer. I don’t know. Who knows? You? Dave himself? Can you chime in, Dave? Take Serpents U.S. under your wing while you’re at it? Eh? Eh? Ok, ok. Sorry guys. Back to the beer.
Overall, this is a pretty simple-yet-refreshing beverage best paired with a light meal, dessert, and a Flying V Guitar in your fucking hands. Megadeth can do no wrong, Unibroue can do no wrong, and both are together at last. Hard to mess that one up, folks. Side note: horns up to Dave for a speedy recovery!
The video for the song from which the beer’s name is taken: “A Tout Le Monde!”
10. Liquid Death Mountain Water
Created by: Liquid Death
About/Ingredients: Cold. Crisp. Canned…water.
– Imagine, you’re at your favourite metal festival, and there’s nothing to drink except for alcohol, or extremely questionable warm water. You may be asking yourselves, “how is water questionable?” Well, if you asked that question, then it’s very apparent that: a. you probably live in the United States or b. you’ve never had your water poured into a warm plastic cup, from a seemingly old-yet-also-equally-warm water cooler. Either way, both scenarios are a big “no” from me my friends, even though I have lots of love for both, the U.S. and free water. However, you may also have another option in this scenario; bottled water. Another seemingly-harmless alternative set in place to prevent you from getting blackout drunk in the middle of your big day at the festival. Unfortunately, that expensive water has been sitting in the sun and is probably as cooked as you are, except that it’s made of plastic and plastic melts… which is toxic. Gasp! Any way you look at it, these are not ideal alternatives to be in, when you are being bombarded with blast beats and feel like you are literally dying of thirst.
Now, enter Liquid Death. Although not an endorser of Serpents (…yet), nor a “band-inspired” beverage, it is still very metal to its core, as its whole marketing theme is geared towards “murdering your thirst” and uses hilariously brutal imagery to back up the claim. It is also safe to mention, that Liquid Death has deliberately targeted the metal and punk communities, because well, we generally care more about things that matter and still have a damn good time doing it. “That’s high praise,” Liquid Death. But, giving more credit to their “punk” roots, they are also considered to be an underdog brand in the fact that they raised their funds to start the company, from crowdfunding, and they hilariously use their user’s negative feedback as part of their ad campaign.
Taunting the opposition, without a care towards offending or hurting a parent company’s feelings. I think that’s pretty cool, and pretty metal, if you ask me. Lastly, their water hails from the Austrian Alps and comes in “tall boy” cans that look just like your favorite domestic beer, thus making their water as cold as Abbath’s guitar tone, and better for the environment (compared to its plastic beverage brethren). How about that, friends? Ok, I’m done talking about water now. So, on a final note, I’d strongly advise that after you’ve tried all these delicious beverages that I’ve recommended to you in this article, crack one “ov” these open with the boys (and girls)…and do the opposite of dying! Live! Hydrate! Because well…we need you out there!
Also from the new album comes the highlight “The Lust of the Lawless:”