Every once in a while, a short new release deserves to be paired with a nice hard beverage to round out what may be the longest week in human history. 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: Pyrrhic Salvation’s Manifestum I and Rhinegeist Brewing Company’s Crumb Cake.
The Tunes: Pyrrhic Salvation’s Manifestum I
Hailing from the depths of the Internet, Pyrrhic Salvation is a testament to what modern technology can do to bring people with passion together. The trio is composed of members of established bands like Veilburner and Carcinomic, all of whom who live in separate states and all of whom have never met each other in person. Despite this, the internet allowed them to connect with each other, sow the seeds of comradery and eventually produce this debut 5 song EP. Seeking to bring together old-school black and death influences with modern flourishes in a suitably raw production, the band mixes little bits of tech and prog in with their classic structure and somehow, they manage to do it without overcrowding the mix. The guitars are overdubbed, but not intensely layered, and Sagar Nadgir of Carcinomic handles both drum duty and fretless bass (you already know this is what sold me on this release in the first place) in equally captivating measures. Extreme dissonance is a key feature of the sound, but there is never a point where any song devolves into noise for its own sake. For as chaotic as these compositions end up getting, there is always some pull back to center, either in the form of a repeated growled motif from Veilburner vocalist Chrisom Infernium or a ruthless breakdown stomp. I do find that I miss a lot of the black metal elements that are advertised, but there is almost something vaguely Imperial Triumphant-esque about the way they weave angular and discordant melodies together in a way that is both cohesive and palatable. Above all, the instrumentation on Manifestum I is pretty captivating, and as much as you’d think this would be where I’d praise the bass work (it is extremely praiseworthy), I think the drum work is the surprise hit here. There are so many interesting and unexpected choices that Nadgir makes that leave me nodding my head approvingly at my speakers. All in all, this is a win, and it’ll be interesting to see if there is more to come from these perfect strangers.
The Booze: Rhinegeist Brewing Company’s Crumb Cake
Speaking of multi-layered influences coming together to form a cohesive whole, Crumb Cake is an Imperial Red Ale that is brewed with coffee, lactose and vanilla extract that perfectly mimics the flavors of streusel and the coffee cake your grandma somehow always had hanging around the house. I, for one, am a huge fan of beers that are brewed with lactose, and here it really helps tone down the inherently bitter qualities of both red ales and coffee, without being too sweet. Honestly, the first flavor that hits my tongue is cinnamon, and I’m not seeing that as a listed ingredient, so that has to be something drawn out of the malts and hops. The vanilla comes through delicately at the end, and the whole thing is very easy on the tongue thanks again to the lactose coming through in the mouthfeel. At 7%, this will definitely get you where you need to go. It’s practically a dessert, and it perfectly satisfies my sweet tooth as well as my desire to wipe the memories of this week out of my mind forever.
You know what they say here: cheers, be good to each other, and I’ll see you on the other side.