Spacey black thrash paired with a tropical IPA? Why not. Don your bullet belt and put on a Hawaiian shirt, and let’s dive in to Wild Beyond’s self-titled and Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze Hopical Crush.
The Tunes: Wild Beyond – Wild Beyond
Judging by the gorgeous Adam Burke album art you might assume Wild Beyond’s self-titled debut to be sci-fi death metal or cosmic black metal; wrong! While space is certainly the thematic focus of many tracks here, this is a pure black thrash onslaught. Fans of last year’s fantastic Through Sheer Will and Black Magic will recognize the hateful rasps of Wild Beyond’s vocals as they are from none other than Daeva frontman Edward Gonet, who additionally picks up the axe here. There’s lots of similarities between the two bands, but Wild Beyond opts for a more noisy, claustrophobic atmosphere that’s significantly less demonic than what Daeva goes for (if the absence of ejaculating demons on the cover was any indication). Wild Beyond ride the black/thrash line well — the riffage here might be more in the vein of black metal, but it’s definitely played with a touch of thrashy imprecision. The first four tracks hover around the five-minute mark and there’s such a dizzying amount of riffs that it can be a bit overwhelming, but you just have to lose yourself in the aural assault. “Arctic Stargate” slows things down a bit and leans more into the cosmic atmosphere, but the three shorter tracks in the latter half of the album are what work best for the band. Outro “Exit Wounds” features spacey keyboards that would have been welcome elsewhere in the album; considering there’s a void in sci-fi black thrash for some of us, hopefully future releases from Wild Beyond will venture deeper into the galactic infinite.
The Booze: Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze Hopical Crush
I’ve yet to have a Firestone Walker IPA that wasn’t at least decent, so even though it’s only just starting to feel like spring here in SoCal (I have a feeling there won’t be much of this nice weather before heading straight into the 100°F+ hell of summer) I decided to pick up a Mind Haze tropical hazy mixed pack. Tiki Smash has coconut flavor that doesn’t really work for me and Citrus Cyclone lives up to it’s name, but Hopical Crush is where it’s at. Despite being double dry-hopped it’s quite smooth, and has bright flavors of pineapple and orange on top of the standard Mind Haze, well, haziness. There’s a brief hoppy bite with the aftertaste, but nothing close to being overpowering. I anticipate enjoying this after a hot summer’s day very soon.
Cheers, and be good to each other