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: Caïna’s Gentle Illness and Lost Coast Brewery’s Great White.
The Metal: Caïna’s Gentle Illness
It’s interesting to see what happens when an artist drops off your radar and you reconnect later on. I had missed out on Caïna’s output since 2015’s Setter of Unseen Snares, and even in the few years between then and now it seems the project has changed considerably; Gentle Illness is hardly the crusty black metal that I remember. Apocalyptic Witchcraft Records, responsible for putting out this album, describes Gentle Illness as “a comprehensive guide to the very real and very personal disintegration of its creator.” From these cracks in the facade of Caïna’s sole member Andy Curtis-Brignell come an outpouring of both creativity and terrifying darkness. Gentle Illness makes use of every trick in its creator’s playbook, combining black metal, noise, and avant-garde embellishments to create something disorienting yet captivating. “No Princes in Hell” alternates between cold, mechanical black metal and psychedelic samba, noise tracks “Wellness Policy” and “Canto IV” feel as much influenced by horror soundtracks as they do industrial music, and “Contactee Cult” has a full on free jazz break in it. Contained within these pieces are lyrics that touch on everything from suicidal ideation to close encounters of the fourth kind. Curtis-Brignell denies himself nothing when it comes to musical and thematic ideas, and yet what might be chaos in other hands comes together cohesively here, bound by a passion thrown behind every note. Gentle Illness is an honest album, one full of as much grit as smart songwriting, and makes for one hell of a listen.
The Booze: Lost Coast Brewery’s Great White
Today calls for a big bottle of something, which is why I’m glad I saved this pick for tonight. Lost Coast Brewery’s Great White is the brewery’s take on a Belgian white ale, but done in a California way. The Eureka, CA based company brewed Great White with the standard coriander and citrus, but rather than being yeasty like a Belgian might, Great White is grassier and has a more pronounced hop flavor, with the slightly bitter citrus peel notes rounding out the finish. This is like if someone tried to make a pilsner that tasted like a Blue Moon, and that’s not remotely a bad thing. The name doesn’t lie: this is a great white beer.
Cheers, and be good to each other,