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: Mannveira’s Vitahringur and LA Ale Works’ Lunar Kitten.
The Tunes: Mannveira’s Vitahringur
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you haven’t heard me yelling about Icelandic black metal, did any new releases from the island country’s incredible scene even come out? My absence from this column and from semi-consistent writing does not, in fact, mean that there hasn’t been a glut of quality releases from what I still consider to be one of the world’s premier black metal scenes, and Vitahringur, the latest release and first full-length from Reykjavik’s Mannveira stands in fine company among their peers. Coming just shy of five years after their split with Ellorsith (another name I’m desperately awaiting more music from, as an aside), Vitahringur is a reinvigoration of both Mannveira and my love for this style of music. The subtle ways the band introduces psychedelia into their sound, be it noise outros or warped dissonant arpeggios stretched out to their breaking point, remind me of Flesh Cathedral-era Svartidaudi, the album that made me fall in love with Icelandic black metal in the first place, so Vitahringur comes with a feeling of nostalgic delight for me. Rest assured, though, that this is a work that can truly stand on its own merit; Mannveira’s command of forceful aggression and hypnotic atmosphere creates black metal that is truly gripping. Vitahringur will haunt you, and you will be thankful for its ghastly presence in your mind.
The Booze: LA Ale Works’ Lunar Kitten
Ok, look, I’m a simple person: I like dark, disorienting music and cute can art with cats on it. Thus did LA Ale Works’ Lunar Kitten find its way into my shopping cart. It turned out to be a good purchase, though; Lunar Kitten is a fairly no-nonsense West Coast IPA that brings bitter and topical notes from a healthy dose of Simcoe hops. It’s a nice balance of everything one could like in an IPA, coming in strong with piney, heady notes up front that fade from bitter to floral and fruity on the finish, like orange and mango warmed by the setting California sun. Nothing fancy, just a really nice IPA. And if that isn’t enough to convince you: it’s got a cat-stronaut on it.
Cheers, and be good to each other,