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: Dawn Ray’d’s Behold Sedition Plainsong and Boulevard Brewing Company & Modern Times Brewing Company’s Restless Nights.
The Metal: Dawn Ray’d’s Behold Sedition Plainsong
The UK’s own black metal hooligans are back and better than ever. Dawn Ray’d have made a name for themselves ever since their 2015 demo A Thorn, A Blight for their unique, violin-led folk/black metal in addition to their unabashed espousal of anarchist politics and commitment to stamping out the fascist sympathies that are sadly still all too present in the black metal scene. Every release sees the band hone their blade sharper, and on their second full-length release Behold Sedition Plainsong, their sound is practically deadly. The trifecta of punk ethos, black metal aggression, and folk melody has been dialed in to perfection here, with greater incorporation of folk melodies and violins in the black metal songs themselves. Behold Sedition Plainsong feels like a much leaner album, but a more focused one, and with smart compositional choices that highlight the visceral emotion in their songs. Moments such as when the violin melody soars over double bass drumming in “Like Smoke Into Fog” feel surprisingly mature, showing the amount of growth they’ve been able to achieve in just two short years. Far from being another second-wave worshipping band, Dawn Ray’d have taken a formula that’s been run into the ground over the years, black metal with folk elements, and have managed to do something truly inspiring with it, both in the astounding music they create and their steadfast commitment to the cause of freedom they preach within it.
The Booze: Boulevard Brewing Company & Modern Times Brewing Company’s Restless Nights
This week has felt like one that necessitated something with a little more ‘oomph’ to it, so I sprang for a beer that I’d had my eye on for a while. Boulevard Brewing Company has been featured on this column a few times now, and I’ve waxed poetic about Modern Times enough for you to understand how I feel about them (they’re my favorite brewery, in case you weren’t aware), so a collaboration between the two entities was more than enough to pique my interest, doubly so when I got a look at what Restless Nights is actually all about: this is a bourbon barrel aged coffee porter made with bourbon barrel aged coffee beans. If you don’t think that sounds like heaven, I don’t know that we could be friends. And oh what heaven it is; sweet, rich flavor with a tremendous amount of coffee flavor and just enough bourbon peeking through without being boozy. As the beer warms to room temperature, the coffee flavor intensifies even more, lending a deep bitterness to the drink that isn’t unwelcome at all. Restless Nights is the definition of “if you’re going to do it, do it big,” and for someone who loves a very intensely flavored beer, this thing is sheer perfection.
Cheers, and be good to each other,