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: Verberis’ Vorant Gnosis and Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Luponic Distortion No. 009.
The Metal: Verberis’ Vorant Gnosis
Vorant Gnosis, the Gnosis that devours, is the latest mini-album from New Zealand’s Verberis. Coming off of 2016’s full-length Vexamen, which I talked very favorably about on this very column, Vorant Gnosis sees a change in sonic and compositional elements at the core of the band’s sound. Where Vexamen contained shorter songs with punchier dynamics, on Vorant Gnosis Verberis draw their brand of occult blackened death metal out to hypnotizing effect. Consisting of only two tracks, the eleven minute “Vorant” and the twenty-one minute “Gnosis,” Verberis utilize dissonance and muscular riffing in equal parts, creating something more meditative and otherworldly. The production on Vorant Gnosis is significantly heftier than on Vexamen as well, and although I was quite fond of the lightly overdriven, thinner guitar sound the band previously utilized, I can’t deny the immediacy this fuller production gives these songs. That it manages to increase the strength of the riffs without sacrificing the lithe nature of the compositions is no small feat, particularly on the epic “Gnosis.” To gain is to lose, the attainment of knowledge means the death of what you once knew and the person you were; this idea is central to the concept of Vorant Gnosis and to Verberis, who have dissolved the old and assumed a greater form from the ashes.
Tonight’s offering of ale comes to us from another of our repeat customers, Firestone Walker Brewery. This time, we have the ninth edition of their Luponic Distortion IPA. Made from a rotating blend of hops, this time featuring varieties from the pacific northwest and Germany, Luponic Distortion No. 009 is lighter and cleaner than your average West Coast IPA. Fruity sweet notes take the lead in this iteration, leaving the distinctive piny hoppiness to the very end. There is only a light, pleasant bitterness in the finish to balance things out, which is surprising given how the trend in IPA’s of late is not towards modesty in that department. No. 009 is not what I was expecting, but that’s a very good thing.
That’s a wrap on this one. Check back week for more curated goodness, and as always,
Cheers, and be good to each other,