Receiving the Evcharist: Shambhallic Vibrations and Juniper Fizz

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

I cannot remember the last time I was this excited for an EP, and a debut one at that.  I also can’t tell you how much I need something to help unwind this god-forsaken week.  Fortunately, we have something to scratch both of those itches.  Receiving the Evcharist is our (somewhat) weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offerings: Lunar Chamber’s Shambhallic Vibrations and Marz Community Brewing Company’s Juniper Fizz.

The Tunes: Lunar Chamber’s Shambhallic Vibrations

Seemingly out of the aether itself, Lunar Chamber burst on the scene and managed to captivate my attention, almost sound unheard (I mean, look how dope that album art is).  The vibes alone from debut single “Spirit Body and the Seeing Self” hooked me, but when I clicked play, I encountered both everything and nothing of what I was expecting.  Heavily influenced by Eastern tradition, Buddhism and esoteric mysticism, this impressive slab of highly inventive deathy/proggy/techy metal is a breath of fresh air in terms of creativity and execution.  The rest of the EP doesn’t drop off either.  In fact, each of the other main tracks only serve to increase the intensity and showcase the absolutely wild abandon that the foursome have put into their debut to the world.  The way these tracks oscillate between furious, pummeling death metal, soaring melodies, fretless bass antics of the highest order, jazzy drums and borderline new-age ambience is astounding for a debut EP.  There’s a reason 20 Buck Spin scooped them up right away though, and all the promise of the project is on full display here.  This is a whole new level of how death metal can be done.  It feels so profoundly different from anything else out there right now, and it makes me energized about the state of the metal world and what the genre can still do.  Just when it feels like everything that can be done has already been done, here comes a band (granted, made up of people who have been around the block a time or two) of relatively unknown status to shake things up on a fundamental level.  The way everything comes together creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts and I, for one, cannot stop listening to this.  It truly is, to borrow a phrase from Anton, the Summer of Fretless Bass.

The Booze (?): Marz Brewing Company’s Juniper Fizz

So, I believe this is a new one here on Receiving the Evcharist.  Chicago’s own Marz Community Brewing Company is known for a lot of things: beer, obviously, but also soda, kombucha, coffee and seltzer.  Marz’s raison d’être has been pushing the envelope creatively, and that’s what brings us to Juniper Fizz.  What may look like “just” another seltzer to the untrained eye contains depths that are quite unique.  First off: there’s no alcohol here.  Instead, Juniper Fizz is loaded with 30 mg of hemp-derived CBD as the, let’s say, active ingredient.  Secondly, it’s brewed with botanicals that you might balk at in a seltzer, like juniper berries and spruce tips before being finished off with lime juice and sea salt.  To be honest, the flavor comes together really nicely.  It’s very reminiscent of a good gin and tonic, with a little bit of floral, almost hop-like character from the spruce.  It’s a very summery drink, it’s insanely refreshing, and it’s quite unlike anything else out there.  As for the CBD, I actually don’t really feel much of anything when I drink one of these.  Maybe I’m immune or something, I don’t know, but even if it doesn’t open my chakras and decalcify my pineal gland, it’s still a tasty beverage at the end of the day.

Until next time, and hopefully next time is soon, cheers and be good to each other.

— Ian

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