Greetings! Brother Vincent is currently on a covert mission involving pocket universes, dimension-hopping automatons and exotic parrots so it’s me, Zyklonius, stepping in this week to share and pair the latest sonic and liquid treasures I have discovered. This week’s offering: Ancestors’ Suspended in Reflections and Level Eleven’s Dark Side of Ale.
The Metal: Ancestors’ Suspended in Reflections
Following the recent death of my mother, metal has provided me with cathartic solace and aided my ongoing reflection on the cosmic, abstract and concrete aspects and repercussions of death. Ancestors’ new album Suspended in Reflections mixes psychedelic doom, post-rock and progressive metal into a lush soundtrack and liberating narrative for embracing death as the natural endpoint of existence on this plane, and the transcendent, radiant beauty of it all. Simultaneously immense, heavy and weightless, where melancholia, mourning, loss, gratitude and triumph coalesce, Suspended in Reflections is a breathtaking experience of gorgeous dreamy movements and multi-layered soundscapes for floating away as the lights begin to dim and it is time to return to the stars and join the night sky.
The Booze: Level Eleven’s Dark Side of Ale
During my recent trip to Finland, I finally had the opportunity to sample Level Eleven’s beers, having followed with great interest and curiosity the evolution of their home brewing experiment into the realm of commercial production and wholesale (Full disclosure: my friend Mikko is one of the masterminds behind Level Eleven). Enter: Dark Side of Ale. I sure was in for a surprise, having somehow erroneously convinced myself prior to opening the bottle that I was about to imbibe a robust stout. Instead, I was greeted with a beer that was unexpectedly quaffable and light in body, something I usually associate with American-style or dry stouts that are usually not to my liking, but which works like a charm in the case of a black ale such as this. A perfect amount of lactose and oats provide a silky mouthfeel and padding for the delectable combination of lemon peel and raw licorice. An evident nod to the Pink Floydian hues and influences found in Ancestors’ music, Dark Side of Ale forms a perfect accompaniment for Suspended in Reflections, to be enjoyed in deep contemplation and profound appreciation.
Brother Vincent will make a triumphant return from his mission next week, just in time for his ticker tape parade and bestowal of the Key to the Necropolis. Until then, stay wonderful.