Hello friends and happy Friday! The last Friday of January, if you can believe it. It has been cold and a little gloomy here in Chicago and I have been looking forward to diving into this week’s offerings: Sumeru‘s Blood Ordinance and Sketchbook Brewing‘s Honeybird.
The Tunes: Sumeru – Blood Ordinance
This two-track EP packs a punch with heavy riffs, harsh vocals, and blast beat drumming. Both tracks are equally as furious with about a minute in between of quiet, solemn, melodic guitar to catch your breath. The band recently welcomed new vocalist Jake Willoughby who brings fire to these songs in his powerful vocals. This band specializes in sludge and that is evident here with skillfully distorted instruments, contrasting tempos, and aggression that will keep your head banging. There are also more classic doom heavy moments, some with dual guitar riffing that is incredibly well done and alluring. In just two tracks Sumeru has managed to showcase many of their skills as instrumentalists and create a whirlwind of sounds that will sweep listeners in. The EP left me wishing for more and Blood Ordinance is something I will have on repeat while I eagerly await the band’s next release.
The Booze: Sketchbook Brewing Company’s Honeybird
Sketchbook Brewing Company is located very close to home for me in Evanston and Skokie, Illinois. I unfortunately have not yet had the chance to visit the brewery due to the pandemic but was lucky enough to spot a selection of brews by Sketchbook at my local liquor store (a very essential business). I immediately admired all the artwork on the labels and was drawn to Honeybird due to the description of “ale brewed with honey and Thai basil.” It tastes exactly as it sounds—exotic and warm. The Thai basil adds a bit of bitterness and delicate notes of mint at the end of each sip, which balances beautifully with the floral hues of the wildflower honey and hops. The base of the beer is an American pale ale so there is a soft malt flavor. All the pieces are nicely blended so that no one ingredient overpowers or makes this beer too sweet. Every flavor is subtle and just enough to make this a unique and very enjoyable beer.
Cheers and blessed be,