It’s been a long week. Going out of town for a weekend is fun, but trying to play catch up with your life post-vacation is always a hassle. I’ve spent every day this week confused and exhausted, thinking it was the day previous to the one I was on. Quite simply, I felt dead on my feet. Luckily, there is a beer out there that is made for this exact feeling, and an album made for recuperating while listening to. The Metal: Cepheide’s Respire. The Booze: Rogue Brewing Company’s Dead Guy Ale.
I was first put on to this band by my friend who runs the wonderful website Black Metal and Brews through the use of Cepheide’s demo “De silence et de suie” in, hysterically enough, a beer/album pairing video. So Ben, this one’s for you. Cheers.
To “respire” is to breathe and that is exactly what this album feels like: deep, calming, successive breaths. Composed of only two songs, 16 and 19 minutes long, Respire draws the listener in deep with a swirling, enveloping atmosphere that makes heavy use of ambient passages. This isn’t to say that the band doesn’t know how to kick it into high gear though, and when they let loose the howling vocals and soaring guitars provide some of the most compelling atmospheric black metal I have heard in recent memory. Indeed, the balance of the songs between the slow and fast sections is what makes these long compositions so successful; no part overstays its welcome, and the listener is never given an opportunity to completely disengage. There is just enough lull to get comfortable before being swept up in a burst of melody and aggression. Respire is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a breath of fresh air.
If you haven’t tasted Dead Guy before, I can bet that you’ve probably at least seen it around before. Newport, Oregon’s Rogue Brewing Company is pretty widely respected and Dead Guy is a staple in most liquor stores, and is a beer I find myself going back to fairly often. One taste and its easy to see why. Dead Guy has a little something for everyone: malty, caramel sweetness with just enough of a hop finish to give it a spicy and bitter character at the end. Sitting at 6.5% ABV, it’s an easy drinking beer, but will still get you where you want to go. This is a real crowd-pleaser, and it does its job well. If you like craft beer, this should be a staple in your rotation.
Well, that about sums up how I get my spirit back after a long week. Good beer, great music, and hopefully now a good night’s sleep. Here’s hoping you all had a decent week and you’re ready for whatever the weekend will bring.
Cheers, and be good to each other,