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: Yellow Eyes’ Rare Field Ceiling and Founders Brewing Company’s KBS Stout.
The Metal: Yellow Eyes’ Rare Field Ceiling
In a recent, excellent interview conducted by Metal Injection, Sam Skarstad describes the process of writing lyrics for Yellow Eyes’ latest album Rare Field Ceiling as “…trying to find the line between coherence and incoherence—how close to incoherence can you get and still be affecting and haunting.” Beyond lyrically, I feel like this statement encapsulates what it is I love about Yellow Eyes’ music as a whole; their compositions are daunting, relentlessly shifting like sands in the desert, yet ultimately come together as recognizably black metal. While the band have always had an idiosyncrasy about the way they write their music, it is on Rare Field Ceiling where those tendencies shine brightest. Where 2017’s Immersion Trench Reverie felt like a step forward for the band’s songwriting abilities, Rare Field Ceiling is a running leap which sees the four-piece branch out into their most feral and ambitious territory yet. The Skarstad brothers’ guitar work remains as challenging as ever, but with a kind of frantic energy behind it that stands apart from the more calculated work on Immersion and 2015’s Sick With Bloom. Will Skarstad’s vocals often take on a strained quality that accentuates the manic nature of the songs. Drummer Mike Rekevics throws in all manner of new drum patterns to take the songs in wildly different directions. The band even venture into ambient territory via the field recording and guitar based album closer “Maritime Flare.” Rare Field Ceiling is the most expressive and dynamic Yellow Eyes have ever been, their willingness to be nothing but wholly themselves allowing them to craft their most songs yet. I’ve said it before a hundred times and I’ll say it again: no one writes music like this. You could measure any of the best black metal of yesterday or today against Yellow Eyes’ discography and I doubt it would hold a candle. The interplay of harmony and chaos, of aggression and melody, of coherence and incoherence, is unlike anything I have ever heard. This is not only the best album in the band’s discography, and not only my favorite album I’ve heard all year, but this is going to be a black metal album that stands the test of time.
The Booze: Founders Brewing Company’s KBS Stout
It feels exceptionally good, today, to be back on my bullshit. After last week’s bout with the dreaded summer cold and an exceptionally tiring week of work, I decided that my return to form needed to be spectacular, and I sprung for something that had been on my bucket list for some time: Founders’ KBS Stout. After hearing several of my Nine Circles colleagues rave about it, I found some loose bottles at a local store and the rest is history. KBS is a massive beer, a 12% ABV whiskey barrel aged stout flavored with coffee and chocolate. The initial sip is almost overwhelmingly boozy, both from the high ABV of the drink itself and the big hit of whiskey that you get right out of the gate. The coffee and dark chocolate bitterness cuts through in the finish, helping to balance out the more brash whiskey notes, and as the drink warms to room temp the sweeter chocolate notes help round it out even more. I definitely understand the hype with this one; underneath the punch this packs there is some excellent balance of flavor that reveals more and more with each sip. I knew I had to pick a special beer to pair with a special album, and I think I did just that.
Cheers, and be good to each other,