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: Venom Prison’s Samsara and Allagash Brewing Company’s White Ale.
The Metal: Venom Prison’s Samsara
Venom Prison are a band that one sees hyped up so much, one might be tempted to write them off as a flavor of the week. I cannot stress enough how much of a mistake that might be, especially in light of Samsara, the band’s second full-length release. It seems almost a cliche when musicians talk about their new album and say “We made the heavy parts heavier and the melodic parts melodic-ier”, and yet that’s the best way to describe what Venom Prison have created here. Where 2017’s Animus was good, Samsara showcases a sensational use of dynamics to make the songs almost explode outward from your headphones — from the crushing breakdowns of “Self-Inflicted Violence,” to the melodic leads that make “Asura’s Realm” and “Sadistic Rituals” (my favorite track) shine. The crown jewel of Samsara, however, is once again vocalist Larissa Stupar, who’s vocal delivery is stronger and more varied than ever before and whose blunt, confrontational lyrics take the sharp songwriting and musicianship completely over the top. Like it or not, Venom Prison are here to stay. Personally, I more than like it; it’s rare that my taste in death metal veers towards anything this technical or ‘brutal’ adjacent, but Samsara’s whip-smart songwriting and infectious heaviness have me completely hooked.
The Booze: Allagash Brewing Company’s White Ale
It’s funny what a little time can do. When I first tried Allagash’s White Ale, I wasn’t a very big fan of it. I’ve never been one for wheat beers (I’m still not if I’m being honest), but everyone I know raves about this one in particular. So when I spotted a four pack on my grocery shopping adventures, I thought I’d give it another shot. It seems now that I’ve matured, I finally get what all the fuss is about. Allagash’s White Ale is genuinely a cut above your average wheat beer. The classic flavors of coriander and citrus are here, although Allagash’s take seems more lemony than the usual orange, with a pronounced yeasty aftertaste. It’s the proportions of these that bring Allagash ahead of their competitors, bringing the citrus to the front and taming the level of spice and yeast makes it much cleaner and more enjoyable than your average wheat beer. Color me impressed.
Cheers, and be good to each other,