Receiving the Evcharist: Ulthar and Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

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: Ulthar’s Cosmovore and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale.  

The Metal: Ulthar’s Cosmovore

ulthar cosmovore

There are very few constants left in this world, but 20 Buck Spin knowing death metal is definitely one of them.  The latest slam dunk from this label comes in the form of the debut full-length from the bay area’s Ulthar.  While the name may be new, Ulthar are composed of some of the region’s best and brightest musicians, with drums by Void Omnia’s Justin Ennis, guitars by Vastum/Extremity‘s Shelby Lermo, and bass by Steve “Ephermeral Domignostika” Peacock.  While the other member’s acts may take a more focused approach to genre, Ulthar is a band driven by contrasting and competing dynamics.  Whether this takes shape as the opposition between Lermo’s deep death growls and Peacock’s instantly recognizable throaty black metal rasp, the push/pull of stompy death metal and dizzying black metal, or Ennis’ ability to transform the same riff into two different shades of impossible heaviness by switching up drum beats underneath it, Cosmovore sees the trio play off of each others’ strengths to create something better than even the sum of its parts might hint at.  The coalescence of the maelstrom is the thirteen and a half minute album closer “Dunwich Whore,” an extended psychedelic black/death metal jam which sees the band at its most balls-to-the-wall, both performance-wise and compositionally.  Cosmovore is bizarre, breathtaking, and brutal fun.

The Booze: Half Moon Bay Brewing Company‘s Pumpkin Harvest Ale

half moon bay pumpkin harvest

While Halloween itself may be the preferred day for drinking pumpkin beers, I find the style to be equally as good all throughout November.  The Thanksgiving season always has me in the mood for squash, and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale is the balm for my gourd-hungry soul.  Brewed with sugar pie pumpkins at the peak of their season, Harvest Pumpkin Ale hits the distinctive fall notes that you know and love; the subtle spice of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom perfume the drink and a big helping of malts in the finish help bolster the sweetness of the pumpkin with their caramel notes.  True to its word, this is a much subtler take on the pumpkin ale, but its nuance is appreciated.  I’d much rather drink a beer that tastes like pumpkin than drink a pumpkin smoothie that tastes a little like beer, and I’ve definitely had pumpkin beer that’s gone that way.  This would make a great table beer for a Thanksgiving dinner, but the cool air and crunching leaves are reason enough to keep it in the fridge all season long.

Cheers, and be good to each other,

– Vincent

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