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: Envy’s Alnair in August and Hangar 24 Brewing Company’s Rubus Red.
The Metal: Envy’s Alnair in August
Envy are one of those bands that I didn’t know I needed until I heard them. Despite the fact that they have been a game-changing artist in their home of Japan for two decades at this point, it wasn’t until the announcement of their stateside tour with Deafheaven and Tribulation that they were brought to my attention, and knocked the wind out of my chest from minute one. Their take on screamo, stretched out like taffy and knit with breathtaking ambiance, hits every note I want in just about any kind of music I listen to. While the future of the band lay in doubt for the last two years, following the departures of guitarist Masahiro Tobita and drummer Dairoku Seki, and the departure and subsequent return of founding vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa, Envy returned triumphant this November with Alnair in August, a brand new 7″ that shows the band still at the absolute top of their game, and perhaps even higher than before. “Dawn and Gaze” is a post-rock inflected crescendo, driven by lush triple guitar work and Tetsu’s impassioned vocals; B-side “Marginalized Thread,” by comparison, hearkens more towards Envy’s hardcore and screamo roots, where soaring melodies meet the show-stealing drum work of new member Hiroki Watanabe. Alnair in August may only be ten minutes of new music, but it stands out as some of my absolute favorite listening from this year, and points towards many more good things to come from these giants of the scene.
The Booze: Hangar 24 Brewing Company’s Rubus Red
We are back in Sour Land (patent pending) this week, and we’ve got a good one this time around. Part of Hangar 24’s Barrel Roll series of aged ales, Rubus Red is a sour ale aged for two years in syrah wine barrels and re-fermented on freeze dried raspberries. This is a wonderfully complex beer; the initial sip is all sour tartness, but then moves to a very oak-y place, almost reminiscent of a bourbon aged beer, but the wine barrels also reinforce the tart fruit notes in addition to providing this contrast in flavor. Sours tend to be lighter in body and flavor, but the barrel aging gives Rubus a depth that makes it feel richer and more indulgent. I tend to crush sours, but this is for sure a sipping beer.
Cheers, and be good to each other,