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: Svartidauði’s Revelations of the Red Sword and North Coast Brewing Company’s Cranberry-Quince Berliner Weisse.
The Metal: Svartidauði’s Revelations of the Red Sword
Regular readers of my work are probably familiar with hearing me wax poetic about my love for Icelandic black metal, and no band more so than Svartidauði. It was their 2012 inaugural full-length Flesh Cathedral that was my introduction to Icelandic black metal as a whole, and it opened my eyes to a completely new interpretation of the genre; something that was entirely more ‘evil’ sounding than even the most diabolical of the early Norwegian scene hinted at. In the six years since its release, the band have been through ordeal after ordeal, losing members and labels, yet still managing to put out several EP’s that show them to be an unrelenting force in the world of black metal. Now, after whetting the appetites of hungry fans, the band return with their second full-length Revelations of the Red Sword and prove once and for all that the formula they helped pioneer to the world at large is nowhere close to being stale. Tracks like debut single “Burning Worlds of Excrement,” “The Howling Cynocephali,” and “Reveries of Conflagration” show the band’s signature, hallucinatory use of dissonance, layered instrumentation, and off-kilter, loping drum patterns to create a maelstrom of sound that alternates between sinister and transcendent, alien in form yet with flourishes of melody that draw the listener in like hands grasping from the void below. Whether or not they were the first ones to incorporate dissonance and psychedelia into black metal, there is no question in my mind that Svartidauði still do it best. In a year where less and less black metal albums give me what I need, Svartidauði only get weirder and darker, always driving the genre forward, and that endears them to me.
The Booze: North Coast Brewing Company’s Cranberry-Quince Berliner Weisse
When I think of North Coast Brewing company, I tend to think of dark beer. I’m a huge fan of their Old Rasputin stout, and I’ve talked about their Brother Thelonius belgian ale before as well. So when I found out that my one-stop shop for dark beer also has a rotating series of sour ales, I knew I had to grab one to try for myself. Tonight, we are sipping on their Cranberry-Quince Berliner Weisse. While in my mind sour ales are more suited for summer months, the flavor profile here is surprisingly suited to a Thanksgiving palate; the cranberry obviously recalls that famous sauce-based dinner side-dish, while the quince lends a smooth, almost apple-like supporting role bolstering the fall flavors. The color is also worth mentioning here, which didn’t come out the most accurate in the picture above, but it pours a beautiful pink reminiscent of a rosé wine. While Thanksgiving dinner has come and gone, this can (and should) be a table beer for your next holiday dinner.
Cheers, and be good to each other,