Greetings, trve warriors! The blessed weekend is once again upon us and calls for another pairing of metal and malted beverages. As brother Vincent is currently on vacation (in other words, marauding Denver’s breweries), I have the honor and privilege to serve this week’s offering. Without any further ado, let’s get to business! The Metal: Fides Inversa’s Rite of Inverse Incarnation. The Booze: Off Color Brewing’s Hyper Predator.
The Metal: Fides Inversa’s Rite of Inverse Incarnation
The dying out of winter calls for celebration of the cycle of death and rebirth heralded by spring and the impending bloom of summer. What better thematic soundtrack to witness the glorious passing of seasons than Fides Inversa’s recently released occult tidal wave Rite of Inverse Incarnation EP. The ritual contained starts slow with “First Congress”, opening with an incantation in Latin that builds up sinister atmosphere and anticipation that is eventually unleashed in full force at 3:06 with the sudden arrival of a series of riffs cutting like a whirlwind of knives sharpened in the forges found on the ninth circle of Hell. The sweeping riffs trigger adrenal glands with a thousand cuts that could slice open heaven, while the fury of the drumming feels like receiving a curb stomp from a cacodemon. Culminating in death and rebirth “not solely of the clay / but with wings of the fire eternal”, the band transitions to the eponymous second and final song with “clearness obtained through the Serpent’s hiss” and another rapid volley of riffs sliding and swinging between occult polarities with a sharp psychedelic bite before concluding with an epiphany of lasting magnificence.
The declaration of occult warfare contained in Rite of Inverse Incarnation is a prime example of black metal as ritual worship and sacred art, and an essential 2017 release in the genre. This exhilarating cleansing of winter’s deadweight truly requires a commensurate beverage as is ritual accompaniment, which brings me to…
The Booze: Off Color Brewing’s Hyper Predator
Chicago’s Off Color Brewing has a unique place in my liver, thanks to their murderers’ row of spectacular takes on farmhouse ale (Apex Predator), imperial stout (Dinosmores, brewed with marshmallows!), Belgian style tripel (Sibling Rivalry) and wheat beer (applewood-smoked 15 Feet), each of them having entered my personal hall of fame of all-time favorite beers. Hence the mere thought of imbibing a new spin on any of their homeruns fills me equally with gleeful excitement and fear of blasphemous desecration.
Enter: Hyper Predator, a delightful mutation marrying the delicious farmhouse ale base of Apex Predator with Abeba Genet coffee beans from Ethiopia. Combining the refreshing effervescence of a farmhouse ale with the roasted essence of coffee should not work, if not for the black magick and dark arts mastered by Off Color. Adding to the pre-sip confusion, there is no visual intimation and almost nary an olfactory note of coffee to be sensed amidst the sparkling funkiness. Like the sudden switching of gears in Fides Inversa’s opening salvo, the coffee flavor eventually kicks with surprising gusto. I initially tasted a beautiful rush of pecan and hazelnut, while subsequent sips noted an herbal taste recalling distant memories of jasmine. At the same time, I acknowledged that other palates might encounter different notes, thanks to the magical combination. Despite its innate weirdness, Hyper Predator remains charmingly cohesive by having the earthiness of the malts, the fruitiness of the yeast and the tropical notes of the hops interlinks seamlessly with those of the coffee. Highly recommended for those summer mornings when you greet the new day by blasting metal but cannot decide whether to start your day with beer or coffee before riding to conquest.
Unless he decided to stay in Denver and become a brewmaster, Vincent will make a triumphant return next Friday with another delectable pairing. Until then, kippis!