Greetings, dear readers! To ramp up our collective response to the deluge of excellent metal and inventive craft beer unleashed upon humanity, I’ve enlisted to provide heavy artillery support to Vincent in his unending quest to form heart-throbbing, liver-caressing unions of prime representatives from both realms. So, let’s begin the campaign with a veritable Tsar Bomba, shall we? The Metal: Aversio Humanitatis’ Longing for the Untold. The Booze: To Øl’s Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye.
The Metal: Aversio Humanitatis’ Longing for the Untold
These times sure can make the thought of succumbing to nihilism alluring, and call for an appropriate soundtrack for the seemingly ever-accelerating downward spiral. Hailing from Spain, Aversio Humanitatis recently released the equivalent of the seventh mass extinction event on a planetary scale. Longing for the Untold is a non-stop barrage of massive riffs and devastating drumming deployed by a band that has injected an optimal dose of death metal into its scathing black metal fury, unleashing their assault with an unstoppable forward momentum that rips limbs from their sockets.
Testament to their songwriting chops, even when the band occasionally decelerates, they continue to grind with a rough grit and do so in full control of ominous dynamics, continuing to build tension until the very end, when it is released as a gigantic shock wave. Aversio Humanitatis proudly defies the approaching life-extinguishing tsunami with unwavering conviction, challenging the force of nature as its equal, with arms outstretched to embrace the oncoming oblivion.
Backed with a warm, muscular production, Longing for the Untold resembles a more aggressive and slightly less esoteric relative of Schammasch. Hence those who enjoyed the latter’s 2016 magnum opus will surely endorse Aversio Humanitatis’ sonic mission statement with a blood sacrifice. Similarly, this is essential listening.
The Booze: To Øl’s Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye
One of the most satisfying aspects of browsing the shelves of a proper craft beer specialist store is when you spot and purchase a previously unknown brand’s bottle on the basis of a cool name and a visually appealing label that upon closer inspection reveals insane ingredients that resonate with metal. That is exactly what the Danish brewery To Øl’s Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye (brewed and bottled in Belgium) did by throwing down the gauntlet and boisterously taunting me with its promise of a 13.2% ABV, three different chilies and – to the delight of a Finn like yours truly –rye malt. Verily, serious business, to be approached with curiosity and respect.
Clearly, this is imperial in terms of intensity, density and majesty, but whether this qualifies as porter (indicated by the brewery and a plethora of online reviews) as opposed to stout (suggested by the label) is befuddling but ultimately irrelevant and in fact a huge part of its charm.
Roasted rye malt provides the hefty backbone of darkness, with a beautiful whiff of smoke bolstered by the surprise attack of Chipotle, Guajillo and Ancho chilies. The robust bitterness and incendiary punch is however balanced with thick molasses and a surprising sweetness which greet the palate. Make no mistake though – this is like drinking wildfire that happens to be extremely pleasant and smooth despite the foreboding ingredients and high alcohol content. In other words, nectar served in the halls of Valhalla. Together with the soundtrack provided by Aversio Humanitatis, this is the perfect companion for basking in the burning embers of civilization.
There you have it, an exquisite combo I hope will satiate even the most sophisticated and selective palates and enrich your weekend. Vincent will make a triumphant return next week and I will be back at the end of month. Until then, caps off and horns up!