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: Vukari’s Aevum and Rhinelander Brewing Company’s Boatswain Chocolate Stout.
The Metal: Vukari’s Aevum
I’ve made it a point this year to spotlight great bands from my home city wherever and whenever I can, and Chicago has offered the metal world much to be proud of. I’m very pleased to continue championing some hometown heroes this week with Vukari’s latest offering of dense, atmospheric black metal. Where 2016’s Divination leaned heavier on the ‘post’ in ‘post-black metal’ to these ears, Aevum is an album that hits much harder and more immediate, with songs like “Agnosia” and “Entire Worlds Encased in Ice” dominated by ripping blast beats and aggressive tremolo picking. Even the back half of Aevum, which is more dominated by the slower, syncopated songs, has moments of overwhelming aggression as in the end of “The True King is Death.” This shift in feel of the album towards something more straight-ahead black metal was unexpected for me, but it’s Vukari’s stellar use of melody that ties the pieces together and keeps Aevum feeling like something familiar to the band’s canon. Aevum is more focused and intense, yet retains the emotional center that drew me to Vukari’s music in the first place; it’s an album that offers a lot to unpack, but there is joy in unraveling it all through multiple listens.
The Booze: Rhinelander Brewing Company’s Boatswain Chocolate Stout
We might be caught in a between-season limbo here in Southern California, but I’m going full ahead into dark beer mode and no one can stop me. Tonight we give you a taste of what is graciously left in my fridge by friends post-get together (donate your beer directly to my fridge for your chance to be featured on this column). Wisconsin’s Rhinelander Brewing Company offers a few varieties I’ve seen available, but tonight we’re going for the Boatswain Chocolate Stout. Lighter in body and more fizzy than your average stout, and with a lighter flavor, this has more of a porter feel to me than a stout, especially because the overwhelming flavor profile is more malt than cocoa powder. This isn’t exactly a knock though, especially when it’s cool but not necessarily cold enough to start drinking the truly heavy stuff yet. It may not be exactly what it advertises itself as, but it’s a good beer all the same.
Cheers, and be good to each other,