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: Haunter’s Sacramental Death Qualia and Epic Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Porter.
The Metal: Haunter’s Sacramental Death Qualia
Right from the first notes of Haunter’s Sacramental Death Qualia, it’s apparent this is hardly the same band I remember from 2016’s Thrinodia. Maybe this is my fault for not keeping up with them in between their last full-length album and now; the progression from progressive black metal weirdness into something equally as progressive but with a much more pronounced death metal edge might have been something that happened gradually over the course of their three splits, but going straight into “Dispossessed Phrenic Antiquity” is like getting slapped in the face. And you know what? I’m into it. The jazzy prog passages that I loved in their previous work are still here in spades, and stand in starker contrast to the much heavier music on Sacramental Death Qualia but the added death metal elements give a weight to the music that I think serves Haunter well. Not only do these elements work well on their own, but the way they’re stitched together in concert creates an immersive listening experience. When the shortest song on your album is seven minutes and twenty-three seconds, I get a little worried you’re going to lose me, particularly when there is so much going on musically during that time, but Sacramental Death Qualia manages to hold my attention during its longest stretches; the way the moments of breathy clean guitar passages give you space to collect yourself after the dervish that is the album’s more metallic movements offers necessary respite and allows you to savor the impact when it kicks back into high gear again. As far as sonic transitions go, blackened (old) Opeth is a pretty good landing spot, I’d say.
The Booze: Epic Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Porter
Weather be damned, it’s officially fall by the Julian Calendar and that means it’s time for the season’s first pumpkin beer. Why not go big with it? Epic Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Porter packs a ton of flavor into this release, as you might expect from anything that labels itself ‘Imperial’, done in a way that’s pleasingly pumpkin-forward. The sweetness and earthiness that comes from the use of a healthy amount of everyone’s favorite gourd plays extremely great with the caramel notes of the malts and the darker notes of coffee that come through in the finish. There’s little notes of spice like cinnamon and clove in here, which makes the whole experience a little like having a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie after dinner. I honestly can’t think of a more ringing endorsement than that.
Cheers, and be good to each other,