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: Deathwhite’s Grave Image and Strand Brewing Company’s Throwback Lager.
The Tunes: Deathwhite’s Grave Image
I was almost going to go with a different album this week. I was close to writing off Deathwhite’s latest release, but after striking out on my other choice something pulled me to this album and I followed my intuition towards something really special. Deathwhite play a style of metal I don’t go in for all that often, a gloomy kind of melodic doom metal drawing heavily from acts like Katatonia and Swallow the Sun, but on their sophomore release Grave Image they do what they do with a confidence that makes them stand strong among their peers. A modern production lends a thick, reverb drenched tone to the instrumentation that emphasizes both the heaviness of the riffs and the morose atmosphere the band builds with them and the clean vocals of the band’s mysterious frontperson are smooth and strong. It’s these vocals that are the star of Deathwhite’s music and are the main reason why I feel like they are a standout act; most of what turns me off of gothic metal is that very few vocalists who attempt this kind of clean singing seem to be natural singers, and the forced straining doesn’t make for appealing listening. Deathwhite have tapped someone who exudes skill and control over their voice and uses it to great effect, taking the already catchy music over the top. One of my goals for this year is to step out of my comfort zone a lot more often with music and my success with Deathwhite has emboldened me to keep that going.
The Booze: Strand Brewing Company’s Throwback Lager
After last week’s venture into uncharted waters, I thought I might return to something a little more tried-and-true this week. Enter Strand Brewing Company and their Throwback Lager. Nothing fancy or fussy will be found here, just a nice, crisp beer that is instantly familiar and refreshing. The taste is smooth all the way down, with plenty of pleasant grassy notes taking center stage, and just a bit of an almost citrusy bite in the finish to keep things interesting. Lord knows I like my weird experimental beers plenty, but its nice to re-acquaint myself with the baseline every now and then, and also remind myself that you don’t need fancy double dry-hopping or kettle souring or what have you to make a great beer. If you’re looking for something reliable to spend an evening with then this is your beer.
Cheers, and be good to each other,