Guess who’s back (back, back), back again (gain, gain). I won the inter-office rock-paper-scissors competition for who gets to drink on the job this week, so naturally I’m going to overindulge in both righteous tunes and choice beverages. 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: Týr’s A Night at the Nordic House and Victory Brewing Company’s Golden Monkey.
The Tunes: Týr’s A Night at the Nordic House (with the Symphony Orchestra of the Faroe Islands)
Týr is a band that has never been anything other than rock solid in their almost twenty-five years of making Viking-themed folkish melodeath, but on A Night at the Nordic House, the band celebrates their heritage and career in a momentous way. A Night at the Nordic House is a recording of the band’s February 2020 (remember when there was anything before March of 2020? Me either…) live show at the eponymous Nordic House in the city of Tórshavn in their native Faroe Islands, accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Faroe Islands. As a band that is extremely proud of their heritage and also one of the scant breakout acts from said islands, A Night at the Nordic House is a celebration of all things Faroese, and it does that in spades. Of course, the band themselves are playing at their absolute best, but more importantly than that, there is a sense of real, palpable pride that translates into a metric ton of fun and joy that elevates these songs to the next level. The orchestra and choir are incredible, the kind of caliber you would find in a much larger city or country, but most importantly, they are lockstep with the band on bangers like “Hold the Heathen Hammer High,” “Blood of Heroes” and “By the Sword in My Hand.” It is a natural fit to add symphonic elements to Týr’s music, but there is something much more magical at play when these two halves come together. I can’t remember the last live album that I listened to that made me grin so much, and if you watch the DVD performance, you’ll see that everyone, from the band to the string section to the choir to the audience, is having the time of their lives.
The Booze: Victory Brewing Company’s Golden Monkey
I don’t think it’s legal, in the Faroe Islands as well as internationally, to listen to Týr without a beer in your hand (not to mention the fact that I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day), so that’s exactly what I did. Golden Monkey is a Belgian-style tripel (because I couldn’t find any beer from the Faroe Islands and I’m all out of the Irish stuff), brewed with some warming spices that pair perfectly with both the farewell to cold days here in the Midwest as well as the frigid northern spirit present in Týr’s music. At 9.5%, it’ll definitely get you where you need to be going, but it doesn’t have the unpleasant, almost rubbing alcohol finish that a lot of tripels have. Instead, you get a very malty, bready open with a readily apparent sweetness that finishes with notes of stone fruit. I’m normally much more for the piney/citrusy/tropical beers, but there’s something about this one that keeps me going back in, sip after sip. Is it the flavor? Yes. Is it the ABV? Also yes, but so what?
Sláinte seems appropriate here, even if you’re reading this a day late. But also, don’t forget to be good to each other.