We’re back, and this time we’re diving back into the world of good old-fashioned craft beer. 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: Psychonaut and Sâver’s Emerald and 18th Street Brewery’s Psychedelic Lines.
The Tunes: Psychonaut/Sâver – Emerald
Psychnaut and Sâver are both relatively new bands on the scene but both share the distinction of having their mind-melting, genre-bending and wonderfully unique debuts set the metal world ablaze, completely continued on their new split Emerald. My introduction to the former came from checking out their incredible Roadburn set sight-unseen, based on how much everyone else on staff here was yelling at me to check them out. They really didn’t disappoint, and the amount of diverse instrumentation and intricate songwriting they displayed left me an immediate fan. The band’s influences range from classics like Zeppelin and Floyd to Tool and Amenra, and on their contribution “The Great Realization” they show the whole gamut of influences that shape them. Described by the band as their “most elaborate production ever,” the band took songwriting and production into their own hands in order to achieve complete freedom, and over the course of sixteen-plus minutes the band explores post-metal, classic hard rock, ambient drone, folk and psychedelic rock in a cinematic, moving journey through a psychedelic trip of personal and collective change in five movements. Sâver, on the other hand, are completely new to me, but I was equally as impressed with their offering “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons.” Clocking in at almost twenty minutes, Sâver hold nothing back on a composition they describe as “atmospheric, brutal, yet beautiful and heavy as the sun itself.” Shimmering Moogs, distorted, grinding bass and crushing guitars steamroll their way through a slow burn up to a glorious cacophony at the end. The smart songwriting of both bands involved help keep these long pieces interesting from start to finish. There’s really nothing not to love here. For both Psychonaut and Sâver, this is a showcase of what is up next for the projects, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The Booze: 18th Street Brewery – Psychedelic Lines
18th Street Brewery is just around the corner from me, so to speak, in Hammond, IN, so it’s no surprise that their beers show up just about everywhere I look. And with good reason, too. I’ve never been disappointed by them before, so when I needed to look for something to drink, both the brand and the can art sold this one for me before I even took a sip. Once I did that, however, I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor was packed in here. Psychedelic Lines is an English style IPA, so the bright floral and piney bomb coupled with hop bitterness shouldn’t be surprising, but there’s also plenty of malt sweetness and an almost creamy backbone that cuts through at the end, making this a very well-rounded drink. It’s not exactly crushable, but it makes for some very satisfied drinking. Everything is pretty well in balance. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too astringent but certainly not lacking for depth of flavor, this one kind of has it all without needing to reinvent the classic IPA formula.
It was fun to get back into beer for this column. Feels right. You know what they say at this point. Cheers, and be good to each other.