Welcome back brethren. It’s been a great week for music, but I hope you’ve got room to jam some more. Tonight’s program is going to be a good one, I promise, so let’s get into it already. The Metal: Malsumis’ Spirit Decay. The Booze: Angel City Brewing’s Oolong Saison.
The Metal: Malsumis’ Spirit Decay
Part of Anchorage, Alaska’s Lycaean Triune collective, Malsumis’ debut album Spirit Decay was quite a dark horse of an album for me. I was familiar with this boutique label through They Leapt From Burning Windows (and their eventual successor Arria Paetus), but Malsumis was new to me, yet now I would consider this among some of the absolute best albums I’ve heard all year. Straddling the intersection between blackened death metal and atmospheric black metal, and thus covering about 90% of my tastes in music, Spirit Decay has something that will leave fans of just about any style of black metal more than satisfied. Tracks like album opener “Succumb” and “Devour” show the band’s aptitude for weaving together the perfect mix of boorish riffs and triumphant melodies that leave your jaw squarely on the floor for the whole 37 minutes it’s playing. This may not be a name you’re familiar with either, but it absolutely should be.
An eternal tip of the hat to Noisey’s Kim Kelly for putting me on to this album. If Kim recommends an album, it’s going to be good.
The Booze: Angel City Brewing’s Oolong Saison
When people think of West Coast beer, most of what you think of is IPA’s. While this may be the dominant style, and I enjoy covering the good west coast style IPA’s I find, I like to venture out and see what else my area is capable of. Enter Angel City Brewing’s Oolong Saison, a farmhouse ale brewed right in the Arts District of Los Angeles with oolong tea acquired from the Chinatown neighborhood just a few minutes away. Rather than being overwhelmingly funky, the Oolong Saison merely elevates and accentuates the flavors of a traditional farmhouse ale. The tart, yeasty base of the ale is complimented by sweet melon and warming spice flavors from the tea that keeps everything in perfect harmony. This, to me, is Los Angeles in a bottle.
There you have it. A beer and an album that are both ambitious in their attempts, but ultimately successful to the highest degree. I can’t think of a better way to end this week than to refill my glass and push play again. I hope you’ll all do the same.
Cheers, and be good to each other,