Greetings once again trve believers. I have returned from the
near dead to bring you more litanies in service to good booze and good metal. Thanks to my brother of the sonic cloth Zyklonius for holding down the fort for me, my Nine Circles companions continue to be the best. Now, for the main event; The Metal: Au-Dessus’ End of Chapter. The Booze: Garage Brewing Company’s Hatch Chile IPA.
The Metal – Au-Dessus’ End of Chapter
Au-Dessus is a name that I have been watching very closely since the beginning of this year. All it took was one live video to hook me on the crushing power of these Lithuanian’s music and to make this one of my albums to watch for this year. Au-Dessus play a style of post-black metal that is surprisingly and refreshingly heavy on the “post” aspect. Much of this album is driven by a kind of thick, deliriously reverb-y sludge that only serves to highlight the moments when the band lets loose completely and the blast beats take everything into the stratosphere. Songs like “VI”, “VIII”, and my personal favorite “XI” are tension and release at its finest, and End of Chapter is an endlessly mesmerizing album that I have come back to as much in the three weeks it has been out as anything I’ve listened to this year.
The Booze: Garage Brewing Company’s Hatch Chile IPA
Temecula, CA, an up and coming wine region, is also home to Garage Brewing Company, a name that is new to me but one that I’m warming up to nicely, if you’ll excuse the pun, with their Hatch Chile IPA. I adore how much I’m seeing chilies used as a flavor component of beer these days, and California has some damn good chilies at our disposal, but my complaint is that I always feel like breweries play it conservative when it comes to the use of this flavor. If you’re gonna go big, go big, you know? But with Garage Brewing’s Hatch Chile IPA, you get exactly the kind of big, robust flavor I have been looking for in a beer like this. The hatch chili flavor is absolutely front and center, the quality of the peppers used is immediately apparent, and the IPA base gives a nice crispness and bitterness that enhances the flavors of the pepper even more. There is something to be said for subtlety in crafting a flavor profile, but if you’re going to use a flavor as strong as chili peppers, you might as well not run away from it, and props to Garage Brewing on doing just that.
And so, my return is complete. I hope to see you again next week, and I encourage you to check out the work of Zyklonius, who once again deserves immense thanks for taking over this column at the last minute. Until such time:
Cheers, and be good to each other,