Oh come all ye faithful to yet another Evcharistic offering. This is a sad time of year for me; the short spring we enjoy here in Southern California is on its way out (it will be in the 90 degree range for the next few days) which means its time to say adios to all the dark beer in the grocery stores. This means the content of my pieces may start to change, but that’s part of the fun of these articles. With that being said, let’s give it one last hurrah while the weather is still slightly cool. The Metal: Muka’s Sveta Stoka. The Booze: New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk.
The Metal: Muka’s Sveta Stoka
It goes without saying that I do what I do here because I love sharing new music with people, and I also love to receive music recommendations from people. I often feel like my favorite metal bands are the hardest to pick apart and classify, which can also make describing my musical taste hard, but it’s good to know I’ve built up enough of a reputation to still have people pass things along to me that they think are in my niche. Croatia’s Muka are one such band. I was not aware of this band’s existence until our editor shared Sveta Stoka with me (“I have a feeling you might dig this”, he wrote), but let me tell you that this is exactly my wheelhouse. Muka’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to extreme metal showcases the best parts of all their influences. Black metal aggression, doom metal heaviness, and post metal atmosphere come together with just the right hints of psychedelia weirdness to sweeten the pot. Songs twist and turn and never quite end up where you expect them to go, but the journey is magnificently heavy and always enjoyable. And seriously, get a load of that cover art (c/o Ana Sambol). Muka are a relatively young band but one that is forging a unique path, one that definitely deserves your attention.
The Booze: New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk
While my taste in music might be complex, my taste in beer is much more simple. Give me your stouts and porters, dark and strong and rich, and I’m a happy man. One of the darkest, strongest, richest, and most beloved of these such drinks is Dragon’s Milk, the bourbon barrel aged stout from Michigan’s New Holland Brewing. This hits every note you would want and expect from it; the dark roasted malts bring the chocolate and coffee notes, albeit subtler than one would expect, and the whiskey barrel aging imbues it with a strong caramel sweetness and 11% ABV. Despite the high alcohol content, this is a startlingly easy-drinking beer, thanks much in part to its sweet finish. A tremendous way to close out the reign of dark beer, although thankfully this brew is available year-round.
Thus ends another offering. Hopefully those reading this still have some hope of spring they can cling to. If you need me I’ll be roasting like vegetables in an oven, but at least I’ll have good new tunes to ease the pain.
Cheers, and be good to each other,