Welcome back, dear readers. Did you miss me? I hope my trusty compatriot Zyklonius kept you in good company from last week. I know I thoroughly enjoyed his take on this column. If you happened to miss last week’s Evcharist, I would highly recommend you catch yourself up. Either way, it’s good to be back, and I’ve got some great stuff lined up for this week. The Metal: Dodecahedron’s Kwintessens. The Booze: Campanology Brewing’s Adventurous Stranger.
The Metal: Dodecahedron’s Kwintessens
When you hear the phrase “avante-garde black metal” I would guess the two geographic locations you might think of first are France and Iceland. These are certainly strong and prominent scenes that have twisted the once rigorous confines of black metal into something uniquely their own, but let us not discount some of the less talked about locations doing great things for metal. This year in particular, the Netherlands is a place I am looking to for great black metal more and more often. You may have already heard me gush praise about Laster and their brilliant Ons Vrije Fatum, and now comes a new offering from Tilburg’s Dodecahedron. Four years after their debut release, Kwintessens: Through Bodies Measureless to Man shows the band honing their dark and chaotic take on black metal to a razor edge. Where Dodecahedron often felt disconnected and overly flashy, Kwintessens feels more focused in its vision. The technicality and dissonance the band is known for are still very much present, but the addition of mid-paced stomp fests like “Icosahedron: The Death of Your Body” and airy melodies like those in “Dodecahedron: An Ill-Defined Air of Otherness” serve to round out the experience and keep things from going over the listener’s head. The end result is an album that is both ferocious and cerebral, one that hooks the listener in with powerful aggression, but one that rewards deeper listening as well.
The Booze: Campanology Brewing’s Adventurous Stranger
To pair with such a bizarre album, I wanted to find an equally bizarre choice in brew. We have covered coffee beer in this column, but always in the context of dark beer infused with coffee. Today we break that mold with Adventurous Stranger, a kolsch style ale brewed with coffee by Milwaukee, WI’s Campanology Brewing. The yeasty notes and light body of the kolsch bring out a different side of the coffee than would be accented in a stout or a porter. The flavor is sweet and nutty, almost like peanut butter, with very little bitterness, finishing with subtle yeast and fruity notes. Each sip reveals something exciting here, and the easy alcohol content make this a great beer to spend an evening with.
Some may choose to play things safe, but I always like to take the stranger paths in life if I can. Avante-garde metal and adventurous beer make for a great night for me, and I hope this has inspired you to enjoy something here as well. My good pal Zyklonius will be back next week, but we will be united in mass again soon. Until then!
Cheers, and be good to each other,