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 offerings: Kaskaskia’s Fleecian Winter Majesty and Greenbush Brewing Company’s Star Chicken Shotgun.
The Tunes: Kaskaskia – Fleecian Winter Majesty
Spring might be around the corner, but the pockets of freezing temperatures remind us, at least here in Chicago, that winter isn’t quite over yet. So, too, does Fleecian Winter Majesty, the debut three-song demo from up-and-coming black metal-meets dungeon synth project Kaskaskia. On this, their inaugural release, the duo pairs highly melodic and dramatic DSBM with idyllic synthwork and striking melodies to create a sound that is quite unlike your typical black metal. It’s equal parts cold and aggressive and delicate and emotional, and the way everything blends together is, in my opinion, the right way to mix the two genres. The synths add pops of lightness and melody over the buzzsaw guitars and blast beats, but they don’t detract too much from the black metal core that holds everything together. Most importantly, they don’t sound cheesy or make the compositions sound forced. Everything is neatly in its place, and it all sounds like it belongs naturally. If you listen to the first track, “Winter Tresses,” and imagine it without the main synth melody, it is just a black metal song. A pretty good one, sure, but nothing that stands out from the rest of the pack. But the synth lines are what makes everything pop and they’re what keep me coming back for more. The haunting intro of closer “The Brunette” is another example of something that you’re just not going to find anywhere else. It makes the whole song so much more emotionally deep, never mind the tortured vocals that break down into wails and sobs and the frantic, warp-speed blast beats. It may be just three songs, but I’ve got my eye out for a full-length soon. I want to hear more of this already.
The Booze: Greenbush Brewing Company – Star Chicken Shotgun
Greenbush are local to me, but I was not familiar with them until I tried this beer. Admittedly, when I read the name on the can, I was expecting something a little more…chicken-y, but what you get is a crisp, refreshing and boldly hoppy West-coast style IPA, brewed with a proprietary mix of five different hops. With that much hops in the mix, you should be pretty well prepared for what comes through. The bitterness comes out with a bang on the front end, and the tropical fruit flavors that you might be expecting are gone, in favor of big pine and floral notes. There’s a tiny bit of malt sweetness that pops up in the finish, and the finish is clean. You’re hit with a lot of flavor right up front, but there’s no strong aftertaste, and it definitely makes a great excuse to go back in for another sip. And at 6.8% abv, it packs a pretty decent punch. Does it do anything that fundamentally breaks the IPA mold? No, but I don’t really think I need it to. I like IPAs, and this is a good IPA, so what’s not to like? Also, how can you say no to a beer that has a chicken dressed like Elvis on the can? That alone sells it fine enough.
As we always say, cheers and be good to each other.