Welcome one and all to a holiday edition of Receiving the Evcharist. This could have lapsed into a Christmas beer and Christmas music trope, but I would rather give a more honest picture of what it is I drink and listen to, and also I don’t currently have my Jethro Tull Christmas album to help get me into the holiday spirit. So instead, we will be sampling something decidedly less cheery, but definitely worth the spotlight. The Metal: Uškumgallu’s Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood. The Booze: San Tan Brewing Company’s Sex Panther.
The Metal: Uskumgallu’s Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood
Portland, Oregon’s Uškumgallu have existed since June of 2015 and have put out two demos before this, their first full length offering. While I thought their demo material was good, Rotten Limbs is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of songwriting and atmosphere. Part of the Vrasubatlat collective of bands alongside acts like Triumvir Foul and Dagger Lust (who’s Aggramica demo made my Best EP’s list), Uškumgallu deal in black metal that bucks the Pacific Northwest’s tendencies towards light and melody in favor of a suffocating and nightmarish descent into aural hell. Indeed, Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood is not an album for the faint of heart; contained within these songs is a world of anxiety and mental anguish come alive. Swirling guitars chime and ring out while also providing a wall of dense chords that drive the songs onward in tandem with the pummeling drums, while vocalist R.F. howls and moans like a man possessed. The addition of harsh noise interludes only deepens the madness and adds to the unique nature of Uškumgallu’s music. Many black metal bands strive to embrace darkness, but very few have managed to do it this convincingly.
The Booze: San Tan Brewing Company’s Sex Panther
If you think I bought this beer just for the name, guess what: you’re right. If you have one six pack left in the store of something that is this amusing to me, I’ll take a gamble on it without hesitation. In this instance, that gamble paid off. Sex Panther is a double chocolate porter made with chocolate malts and brewed with cocoa nibs. The result is as decadent as you would imagine, without being as cloying and heavy as a stout made in the same fashion might be. This combination of decadence and easy drinking makes Sex Panther a good choice for holiday parties, or just treating yourself by a warm fire. An excellent choice for a winter beer for those burned out on the traditional spiced ales of the season.
Thus concludes my grim and blackened holiday column. While the tunes here certainly were devoid of any sugar plums and candy canes, I certainly hope that you, dear reader, have a wonderful holiday season with those you love. And for those not celebrating, here’s to another week behind you.
Cheers, and be good to each other,