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: Inexorum’s Moonlit Navigation and LA Ale Works’ Dead Cowboy.
The Tunes: Inexorum’s Moonlit Navigation
It is time once again for me to assume my place as the resident Gilead Media cheerleader on this website, as I am always happy to do. Moonlit Navigation is only the second release by Minnesota’s Inexorum, but the difference between 2018’s Lore of the Lakes and now is striking. The two-piece’s primary songwriter Carl Skildum has embraced a lot more creative freedom in writing these new songs; Lore was a tremendous work of melodic, second-wave worshipping black metal, but on Moonlit Navigation this base is augmented with more toothy aggression, gothy choir keyboards, and healthy touches of some honest to goodness arena-ready rock and roll. Moments like the almost radio-friendly intro to “Signal Fires” or the ridiculous stomping section of opener “Ouroboric State” feel like if Immortal borrowed some of the energy of dirtbag LA hair metal bands like Skid Row and Motley Crüe, and are the parts of this album that take it from ‘good’ to ‘great’ for me. I’ll be the first to admit that I like quite a bit of seriousness in my black metal, but too much allegiance to orthodoxy produces stale art, and bands like Inexorum, who don’t shy away from drawing influence from anything that strikes their fancy, who aren’t afraid of being shunned by the ‘kvlter than thou’ contingent, are to be praised for their efforts. Especially when those efforts have me pumping my fist in the air and howling like an idiot.
The Booze: LA Ale Works’ Dead Cowboy
After my recent success with the Palmera Pils, I was pretty stoked when my last grocery shopping trip gave me an opportunity to grab another beer from LA Ale Works. Dead Cowboy is another twist on a classic style from this brewery, in this case a red lager. I’ve had plenty of red ales and red IPA’s, so I thought I knew what I was in for here, but that first sip was more than a little unexpected. There is an almost overwhelming amount of malt in this thing, which does add a great deal both in terms of depth of flavor and body, but if you don’t have prior warning it can throw you for a loop. Fortunately it only took me a couple sips to get over the initial shock, and as you get into Dead Cowboy you start to get the complexity that lies underneath the brazen caramel notes; there is a good deal of sweetness here, and coupled with the funkier notes from the yeast you almost get a…butterscotchiness? Is that a word? I guess if I wrote it, it is now. This is a pretty brash beer, but I tend to like that in my drinks, so it’ll be a welcome addition to my rotation.
Cheers, and be good to each other,