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: Atavisma & Void Rot’s Split and HopTea’s The Calm One.
The Tunes: Atavisma & Void Rot’s Split
Today is another two-for-one deal here, and one I’m particularly excited about, because not only are both of these bands not new to me, I’ve long loved both of their outputs, so seeing them on a release together is really special.
Atavisma’s The Chthonic Rituals was one of my favorite death metal albums released in 2018, a dirvish of nasty riffs cut with just the right amount of black and doom to make them stand out from the pack. Their side of this split is up first, and while their three songs offer a significant departure from the material I fell in love with, the band shows here that they have spent the last year and a half honing in on a unique sound that is captivating in its intensity. Leaning much more heavily on the doom end of the spectrum this time around, Atavisma lean into a nightmarish sense of atmosphere, with riffs that crawl along and eerie melody that plays tricks on the mind, conjuring up scenes of supernatural horror. It’s a rare thing when such a stark change in style plays out well for a band, but Atavisma are doing something all their own here, and it’s an unexpected but welcome improvement to a formula I didn’t even think needed much improving to begin with.
Minneapolis, MN’s Void Rot may only have three additional songs under their belt before this split, but their small discography packs a mighty punch. Like the lovechild of Anhedonist and Spectral Voice, Void Rot play the kind of slithering, low-tuned death-doom I need like air in my lungs, and their three songs here are panacea for my death-doom-less body. Contrasting Atavisma’s sprawling experimentalism with a more focused attack, Void Rot nonetheless deliver a crushing performance, both in terms of the weight of the riffs and in the lightless atmosphere that ties their half of the split to their counterpart’s. Songs like “Necrotic Deity” are instantly headbang-able, hitting you in the gut with simple but effective riffs and a punch of eerie, dissonant melody to bring it all together. Rumor has it there will be a full-length coming from these fine fellows later this year too, and if their track record thus far is to be trusted, I’m already all ears.
Each of these sides on their own would make for stellar EP, but put together, this split is a thing of hideous beauty.
The…Drink: HopTea’s The Calm One
I’m writing this a day later than I usually would, which means I’m writing it right before the gym and lifting heavy objects for strength. This means tonight, intoxicants are out of the question. Thankfully this gives me an opportunity to talk up a product I’ve recently fallen head over heels for. Boulder, CO’s Hoplark brewing company have created a concept they’re calling HopTea, a sparkling beverage marrying different varieties of hops and tea (as the name implies) to create something that mimics the flavor of craft beer with added depth and character and no alcohol. The Calm One pairs Citra hops with chamomile, making it not only alcohol free but caffeine free as well, perfect for a late night writing session. The taste is light and refreshing, more subtle than you would expect, with the Citra hops providing lemony notes and a slightly bitter finish rounded out by the high, floral flavors of the chamomile. I’ve tried many flavors of HopTea in the short time I’ve come to know it, and this is the one I come back to the most. I’d recommend this not only for beer and tea drinkers, but anyone looking to try something a little adventurous.
Cheers, and be good to each other,