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: Cult Leader’s A Patient Man and Angel City Brewing Company’s Speculoos Cookie Beer.
The Metal: Cult Leader’s A Patient Man
When it comes to hardcore, much like doom metal, the most interesting acts for me are bands that don’t take the straight-down-the-middle path, but put a progressive spin on genre tropes. Cult Leader have always been one of the bands that absolutely nail that idea; their take on hardcore is as angular, jagged, and blistering as they come, but the band also knows how to explore darkness from different angles. On their second album, A Patient Man, the band expand even further out from the norm and from whatever expectations fans might have had for them. And in doing so make their strongest and most successful statement to date. The elements of crust and grindcore that make up the base of their sound are at their most fierce and feral, a crashing cacophony of instrumentation with Anthony Lucero’s trademark, throat-searing vocals leading the charge, but the album also features four pieces that slow things down, bringing heavy goth vibes by way of chiming guitars and droning clean vocals. Fans of the band’s previous work will both recognize this switch in style and appreciate how well the band manage to integrate it into the album as a whole; quite possibly my favorite thing about A Patient Man is the flow of the album, the way it slows down and ramps up again. It’s masterful pacing in a genre where albums more often than not are one-note, full-speed-ahead affairs. Good songwriting is key here, and Cult Leader know how to write songs. Period.
The Booze: Angel City Brewing Company’s Speculoos Cookie Beer
You may scoff at Speculoos cookies being the new ‘it’ trend in food, but if you’ve tried one, you know just how delightful they are. Whether in cookie form or in a concoction called cookie butter (thank you Trader Joe’s, blessed be your name), the subtle warming spice and buttery sweetness is totally irresistible. So when I found a beer that used these Dutch cookies as inspiration for its flavor profile, I grabbed it off the shelf immediately. Angel City is a brewery I have talked about here before, and have great respect for (their Los Angeles brewery is insanely cool, and was a stop on a terrific brewery crawl for my birthday this year), and their Speculoos Cookie Beer keeps the trend alive. This is a brown ale brewed with the same spices as the cookie, so it evokes rather than outright copies, but the combination of malty sweetness, which I assume is to cover the fact that it’s over 9% ABV, and warming winter spices never gets old. Don’t skip this beer if you’re in the mood for a good winter ale.
Cheers, and be good to each other,