Hail and well met, traveller! This week we’re taking a dark, pessimistic look at humanity and then swerving right on over to a bright, sunny ale to even out the downers. 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: Epiphanic Truth’s Dark Triad: Bitter Psalms to a Sordid Species and Sketchbook Brewing Company’s Orange Door.
The Tunes: Epiphanic Truth – Dark Triad: Bitter Psalms to a Sordid Species
Epiphanic Truth are, if you can believe them, a new band composed of several members of well-established acts that seek to shine a light on the darker parts of human culture and the current state of the world, according to them to “provide an aural and visual assault against the current, malignant zeitgeist.” The band members have chosen to remain anonymous (with the exception of session drummer Wilfred Ho) and never play live, instead focusing on pumping out their ambitious and grandiose blend of black metal, death metal, EDM, jazz, chamber music, ambient and noise. It’s a lot to promise, and admittedly it’s hard to deliver on all of that in the span of three tracks and just over forty minutes, but what Dark Triad does deliver on is dark, wildly experimental blackened death with incredibly interesting breaks of jazz and ambient pieces, sprinkled with a surprising amount of groove and melody. The album’s tracks are described as a “conceptual Triptych, hinged together by the dark triad of personality disorders – psychopathy, narcissism and machiavellianism. Each point converging over the political future of civilizations enthralled by Social Media.” The songs, while dark, brooding and dense, are much more catchy and cohesive than I initially imagined, based on the description of the sound. The tracks are long, but the flow of them is incredibly precisely calculated: no idea lasts for too long but neither do they move too quickly. I’m actually very impressed with Epiphanic Truth’s ability to hold back and explore the ideas they create instead of trying to jam as much in a song as possible. Dark Triad is an album that begs repeated listens, and it’s going to be very interesting to see where it all goes on the next one.
The Booze: Sketchbook Brewing Company – Orange Door
Sketchbook Brewing Company is quite near to us, and it has been really wonderful to watch them get the recognition they deserve (especially from us, as this is not the first Sketchbook beer that has graced these halls), as their beer keeps showing up in more and more large places. Orange Door, one of their flagship beers, is named after the back door that customers used to have to come in through when the brick-and-mortar store opened in 2014. A double-dry hopped West Coast IPA, Orange Door is bursting with equal amounts of tropical and citrus flavors and marmalade bitter-sweet notes (definitely not as bitter as the aforementioned psalms). At 7.2%, it would be hard to multiple of these in a row unless you planned on sleeping right where you sit, but you’ll definitely want to. There is a lot of really deep, intricate flavors here, but the finish is clean, so you’re not left with any of the funky aftertaste some strong IPAs have. Lots of bright grapefruit and orange dominate here, but there is just enough subtle sweetness and bitterness to balance everything out into what may end up being my summer drink of choice.
So there you have it: the duality of man. The world is a dumpster fire and misinformation flies all around us, our collective attention span and capacity for empathy shrinks every day, but at least there’s good beer. It’s the little things that we have to hold on to. As they say, cheers, and be good to each other.