Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Old Thunder’s You Will Be Hated and Mendocino Brewing Company’s Red Tail Amber Ale.
The Metal: Old Thunder’s You Will Be Hated
For all the game I talk about drinking from the cup of heresy, there’s plenty of themes perfectly suited to extreme metal to be gleaned from the traditions of Christianity, from the classic horror of plagues and depictions of torture, to the more philosophical, the struggle of humankind to make peace with the darker parts of ourselves. Enter Kentucky’s Old Thunder, the recording project of friend of Nine Circles Dustin Grooms, who have put forth their first full-length You Will Be Hated, an album that explores the suffering of the early saints of the church and the failings of humankind to live up to that sacrifice. Heavy subject matter, to be sure, and the music contained within is equally up to the task of matching that intensity. Old Thunder’s music has evolved from simple doom to incorporate elements of death metal, crust, and funereal touches. The end result is a witches brew of heaviness, taking you from the punky snarl of opener “To Devour the Sheep” to the sludge stomp of “Flames and Fortitude” to the expansive and crushing “Thrones and Thieves,” all held together by the heart and conviction Dustin puts into his playing. No matter what kind of heavy music you’re into, there is something for you to love on You Will Be Hated.
Sometimes you go to the store and you find something that makes you say, “Oh, that would be nice” and sometimes you go to the store and someone says to you, “Hey, you’d probably like that a lot.” Such is the case for how I found Mendocino Brewing Company’s Red Tail Amber Ale, courtesy of my lovely girlfriend, who despite not being a beer drinker apparently knows my tastes well enough to recommend me things. As it stands, she was dead on: I really enjoy this. Red Tail is a classic red ale, hop forward in character and malty in its backbone. Being that this is brewed in California, it has a little bit of a West Coast IPA adjacent flavor in its hop flavor, piney and clean, which makes a nice contrast from the sweeter finish. A nice, easy drinking choice for winding down.
Finally, the end of a week I thought would never end. The light is there at the end of the tunnel though, so stay strong and I’ll see you next time. Until then,
Cheers, and be good to each other,