Alright, I’m going to preface this column a little differently today. I tend to embrace the drafting process for these, as they serve as a highlight in the transition from work week to weekend, but this week has found me feeling like absolute crap from start to finish, so my enthusiasm isn’t… quite there. I just can’t wait to be fully functional again. But hey, is that going to stop me from drinking a beer or two on a Thursday night? Hell no. I mean, sure, my tastebuds might not be exactly right, and my hearing is definitely thrown off by multiple days of stupidly intense congestion, but who cares! Both of the items I’m consuming this evening need to be shared. What I’ve been enjoying is brutally dark, heavy, and complex… and so is the metal!
The Tunes: Static Abyss – Labyrinth of Veins
Static Abyss, the brand new death and doom project out of California, dropped their debut today, and I absolutely love it. Out through Peaceville, Labyrinth of Veins doesn’t necessarily present anything groundbreaking, but it hits that sweet spot between old school thrashy death metal and bludgeoning doom wonderfully. But this shouldn’t be surprising. The project features Greg Wilkinson and Chris Reifert of Autopsy, and there’s no denying that they know their way around the genre, and how to manipulate it. Swaying between the ferociously unrelenting and more monolithic passages, this thing knows exactly what it wants to do, and it executes without doubt. The production is just rough enough to give the undeniably dense riffs an almost… chewy feel to them, and the whole thing clocks in at an efficient 40 minutes, making it quite digestible. Side note: I truly don’t know how I managed to connect those adjectives… but here we are. There’s a healthy dose of doom for sure, but it very much listens with the speed of a thrash/death album, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Anyway. It is dark, it is heavy, and it is absolute chaos. And I am here for every single minute of it. Feed me more.
The Booze: Schilling’s Foeder-Lagered Rügen
I know, I know. This isn’t Schilling’s first appearance on this site, and it definitely won’t be the last. But following a recent trip up to Littleton, I made a point to save at least one can of their Foeder-Lagered Rügen for this purpose, before I completely drank through my supply. Considering the mass quantities of death and doom I’ve been consuming all week, which serve as almost too perfect of a companion, I’m quite glad I did. Anyway, this take on a Smoked Baltic Porter might be my favorite offering that’s emerged from Schilling so far (something I feel like I’ve said many times before). I’m initially met with the sweeter hints of raisins and molasses up front, but this beverage really takes form as it mellows out. The more time you spend sipping this thing, as it warms up slightly, the more you come to appreciate how the subtle oak influence and smokiness really make the flavors come alive. I swear, each new sip feels like a slight variation of the one before, making this pour an experience from start to finish. Add in the wonderfully soft texture, which is almost surprising given the prominence of the sweeter notes, and I almost feel like I could apply that term “chewy” as an adjective again. I tend to be a sucker for dark beers, but this thing is next level.
Alright, the Nyquil is hitting pretty heavy at this point. Couple that with a couple cans of this tasty 9% specimen… and I think you can imagine where I’m at. Regardless, these two items proved to be exactly what I needed at this point in the week, enhancing my already downtrodden and frustrated state of being. Until we meet again!… Tomorrow!
“Ein Bier… bitte.”