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: Mylingar’s Döda Själar and Phantom Carriage Brewing Company’s Broadacres.
The Metal: Mylingar’s Döda Själar
One of the biggest recent surprises in extreme metal was the announcement of the shuttering of Fallen Empire Records. The stalwart underground label had been my go-to for challenging and engaging music across genre lines for years, and when the label announced it would cease operations, my thoughts went immediately to the bands I loved who called the label their home. I was genuinely worried some of these artists would fade into obscurity, being too adventurous or bizarre for larger label’s tastes, and none of these more so than Sweden’s Mylingar, a band I’ve championed on this very column just last year. So when I saw that this Swedish act had been scooped up by the one and only 20 Buck Spin, my heart grew three sizes like the Grinch who stole Christmas. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 20 Buck Spin knows death metal (if last week’s Evcharist wasn’t enough to sell you), and there couldn’t be a better choice out there to release Mylingar’s second full-length Döda Själar. Much like their previous work, the standout aspect of Mylingar is the nauseating atmosphere they create in their music via a mixture of out-of-phase guitar tones, pummeling instrumentation, and vocals that sound like they’re being vomited out by an actual skeleton. Döda Själar follows in this same path, an unrelenting force of an album that offers the listener no respite over the course of its seven tracks. Even in moments where one instrument hangs back a lead guitar line, or prolonged vocal utterance, or even eerie samples and noise keep the momentum going. There is never a true pause in the tracks except when they are done, and this constant momentum coupled with the ugliness of the music itself creates the aural equivalent of claustrophobia. It might seem like I’m doing a good job of trying to turn you away from listening to this album, and truly this is not death metal for the faint of heart, but as someone who tends towards extremes in my extreme music, the grim and grotesque sounds on Döda Själar absolutely nail a vision that many bands only posture at. Mylingar are one of the most unique bands taking on death metal right now, and deserve your attention.
The Booze: Phantom Carriage Brewing Company’s Broadacres
One of the worst parts of living in the greater Los Angeles area is that things are never quite as close as they seem. Phantom Carriage Brewery has fascinated me for a long time, and in theory it should be easy enough for me to get down south of Los Angeles to check it out, but traffic and other nightmares have constantly conspired against me and my dreams. And then, the holy grail appeared at my local liquor store, and I was blessed to not have to drive to check out a cool brewery’s work, and it was good. Broadacres is Phantom Carriage’s Berlinner Weisse, a light but exceptionally tart brew flavored with lactobacillus and brettanomyces for a perfect mix of sour and funky. This is the first sour beer I’ve had in a while that’s given me the whole-mouth puckering effect that I so desperately crave, and the cultures in the ale give it a sunny citrus pop that is just delightful. The dry finish helps accentuate the tartness of the beer, and coupled with the low 3.9% ABV it makes this a dangerously crushable drink. Broadacres is a triumph, and easily one of the best beers I’ve had in a while. This makes me want to brave rush hour traffic down to Carson for more, and that’s saying something.
Cheers, and be good to each other,