Borne out a deep red wine from South Africa, “Nebukadnesar”, the new song from our friendly wine expert and post metaller OENOS will take you for a dark ride. The London based artist continues his journey into the depths of powerful and cathartic doom and post metal, dripping with mood and brutality, and pulling you into a deep hypnotic state washing everything away with a fine marriage of wine and metal. To celebrate this new offering, we have teamed up with Sami to give you his thoughts on the new track and share his special lists of 10 songs that got him through lockdown and top 5 wines to easen up the pandemic blues.
“I wrote the song whilst consuming a cracking dark red wine from South Africa’s Babylonstoren vineyard which I visited in March 2019.” – reveals Sami.
“I vividly remember having a sample of it at the vineyard as it gave my tastebuds something to look forward to with the whole bottle. It wasn’t cheap but very well worth it, what a wine! Enjoying the whole bottle didn’t disappoint and gave me ample material to write most of the song in one night.
The lyrics for Nebukadesar were borne out of frustration. I had been watching in disbelief these egoistic world ‘leaders’ using organised religion, ancient constructs and gods to drive their agenda and their twisted worldview forward. I mean, believe what you want but stop following these snake oil salesmen, these charlatans. They sell you a lie. I thought that as a human race we were getting over gods and imaginary beings. I thought they belonged to the past as we have been making such incredible progress for the better. And now instead of the world becoming more reason and evidence based, and more secular – all very good things – it seems we’re regressing because of these greedy con artists.
I found out after I had written the song & the lyrics that Nebuchadnezzar was an important character in the religious scriptures. The king of Babylon, the longest reigning and the most powerful monarch of the last Mesopotamian empire, was also called the “destroyer of nations” in the Old Testament. This is a total coincidence. Fits somewhat nicely though, doesn’t it?”
10 songs that got me through lockdown (relatively) sane
Gaerea – Null
Excellent modern black metal song. Brutal yet catchy, crushing yet melodic. Lifted me up in my low moments. I have a feeling I’ll be spinning the whole album a lot this year.
Rorcal – A Sea of False Smiles Hiring Murder Jealousy and Revenge
When I needed a punch in the gut to keep on jogging to shake off those lockdown kilos. What a song, what an album. It does remind me though that I was supposed to go to Roadburn festival where I was going to see the whole Muladona album played in full – the most anticipated gig of the whole festival for me – but obviously that didn’t happen. Another attempt next year hopefully with less deadly viruses circulating around.
Celeste – Cette chute brutal
The song moves forward like a guitar strum & double pedal powered freight train only slowing down at the stations just to pick up new speed after which it keeps on running eternally in a loop and you never get tired of catching the ride.
Enslaved – Homebound
This one’s a classic great Enslaved song. Except this time the drummer is doing the vocal work in the epic chorus which makes you want to sing it every time you hear it. And so I did, alone in my flat, many many times. Such a talented band that keeps on churning out great albums year after year.
Kardashev – Snow-Sleep
This proggy heaviness with some gorgeous vocals captured my attention the instant I heard it and hasn’t let go since.
Barishi – Old Smoke
So I was doing metal yoga over Zoom – a new thing I tried during lockdown and it’s great trust me – when Old Smoke was played. I was instantly hooked. I haven’t done any more yoga with it playing but it has become a trusty companion otherwise.
Cult Leader – To: Achlys
It’s dark, it’s slow, it’s got – unexpectedly from Cult Leader – clean vocals and there’s something very hopeful in this song. Perfect fit for a pandemic evening with a glass of the good el vino.
Oranssi Pazuzu – Uusi teknokratia
How can these folks ever let you down? Not only have they made one of the best albums of the year, they also threw up one of the best live stream gigs of the year. Go figure how they do it.
Hangman’s Chair – Naive
The lyrics for this awesome stonery goodness “Face, how fucked up we are. Face, how lonely I want to be” fit the pandemic mood well don’t they.
White Ward – Surfaces and Depths
Jazzy darkness with a fantastic vocal performance from a guest vocalist Renata Kazhan. This ain’t a happy song, but oh my it’s beautiful. What else do you need when you are isolated and contemplating life?
Top 5 wines to easen up the pandemic blues
I sampled this red wine from Crete initially in a small wine bar called Heteroclito in Athens, Greece and immediately bought the last bottle they had for sale. One of the songs on my upcoming album is actually named after that particular bottle. I ended up ordering a crate of these delicious things all the way from Crete after; such was my affection for this one. Smart? No. Cheap? No. Worth it? Hell yeah.
Petite Sirah (Dalton, IL)
I once read a review of this wine on Vivino where someone had said “Tastes like ashtray, literally”. I can’t say I’ve tasted ashtray but if that’s true I’ll be licking them clean pandemic or not. I’ll admit this red from Israel may not be for everyone due to it’s slightly peculiar and very deep taste – but fuck me it’s treated me well several bottles down.
The song named after this didn’t make it to the upcoming album but this wine is stellar nevertheless. I bought the bottle from my favourite wine shop in Boston, Mass, US of A on a work trip. Previously the nice man in the downstairs wine cellar recommended me an amazing Pinot Noir from Oregon – in fact – the best Pinot I have ever had. Mindblowingly great red for less than $25? Fuck me, that’s value for money. So I couldn’t help myself but to go back, on another work trip, to buy another bottle of that amazing Pinot AND ask for another recommendation of a US wine, something different, and at that 25 bucks mark from the same man. He took his time. And then he pointed to Groundworks. “Try this and let me know how it is” -he said and handed his business card over.
Kadette Blend (Kanonkop, SA)
I think I have even more fond memories of this South African red because I miss travelling like mad and I had this with absolutely amazing food in Johannesburg, SA. It won’t be the last time though as I can source this from London too.
I’ll throw in a white wine too. I basically inhaled this one. Delicious. And it took me much longer than I’d like to admit to get that pique-nique -> picnic. That’s what happens when you are locked down in your flat and don’t talk to other humans that much.