After a much needed week off from forcing you to receive my evcharist (phrasing), I have returned with a classic album and a newly discovered beer. I wanted to get this amazing combination out to the masses last week, but the reality of the situation dictated otherwise. Returning home at 3 AM from a Dragged Into Sunlight show will pretty much render you useless for a few days, as I experienced last week. Fortunately, at long last, I seem to have regained my weekly schedule and am happily sitting here drinking beer and blasting one of my favorite albums. The Metal: Woods of Ypres: Woods IV: The Green Album. The Booze: Long Trail Green Blaze IPA.
The Metal: Woods of Ypres – Woods IV: The Green Album
I can understand why modern day metalheads may not be as privy to Woods as they should be. After the untimely passing of frontman and multi-instrumentalist David Gold in 2011, the band called it quits for good. Which, while sad, made sense since David was the only constant member. But before that Woods was responsible for some of the most impressive black doom the metal world has ever seen. While many call on Woods 5 as their favorite, I will forever stand by The Green Album. And this isn’t the first time I’ve discussed this album here — although I have been due for awhile. It is nearly 80 minutes of the most creative and emotional music you will ever hear. Genre-wise, it covers every corner. From the thrashier, upbeat elements of “Wet Leather” to the slow, thought-provoking melodies of “I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery”, this album covers the entire spectrum of the metal universe. It is creative genius on every level as David’s voice and riffs take us on an emotional ride unlike anything else. At times this album buries you into the ground, as if existing in this world was no longer desirable. But in later stages of the album (see: “Mirror Reflection & The Hammer Reinvention”), there are times where it is truly inspiring. Regardless of your favorite genre, you’ll find something in this album that hooks you in. Basically… ff you aren’t on board with Woods yet, it’s about that time.
The Booze: Long Trail Brewing Co. – Green Blaze IPA
Keeping the subject on all that is green, I discovered this gem a couple of weeks ago at my local craft beer store. Now let’s get one thing straight, I certainly don’t consider Long Trail the microbrew that many would have considered it a few years ago. It’s readily accessible and has become a bit of a safe decision when picking a beverage. But it’s brewed in Vermont (aka upside-down New Hampshire) and has never failed from a quality standpoint. So I picked up their Green Blaze on a whim (partly because I was inspired by the above album, and partly because of its… erm… ‘hoppy’ advertising). As it turns out, this is one of the better session IPAs I’ve had, at least in large quantity availability, in quite awhile. The 60 IBUs brought forward from the Mosaic and Chinook hops offer a strong profile but with a delicious citrus flavor. It is 6.5%, so I’m probably one of the few that would consider this a ‘session’ IPA, but there’s no question that it goes down easily and is an incredibly fresh tasting IPA fit for summer. So it’s a deceitful little bastard. The occasionally underrated and perhaps overly consistent Long Trail have certainly created a gem here. I have a handful of IPAs that I rotate through on a regular basis, and this will certainly become one of them. Not the best IPA on the market, but unquestionably delicious and refreshing all the same.
Yeah, stuck with some familiar territory this week. Woods IV will be an album I never tire of and the IPA, after a few years of conditioning, might be my favorite brew style on the market (and I’ve been a drinker/brewer long enough to have seen it all). Enjoy all that is green and take advantage of this fine pairing on a summer evening. Or do as I’ve done and take advantage of it on several consecutive summer evenings.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”