Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10th, 2012 - Dark Ages For The Double Skull

Hey there brewers and tuners! The Meista here with another pairing for you. On this very snowy day here in Utah I'm pairing Double Skull Doppelbock Lager from Epic Brewing Company and Soulfly's 2005 album, "Dark Ages."

The Double Skull Doppelbock Lager is a crisp, malty, meaty, and delicious lager perfect for a cold day... and perfect for a big, bold and complex metal album like "Dark Ages."  Originally brewed as "liquid bread" for fasting monks, this brew is rich, hearty, full-bodied and filling. Epic employs Muntons Maris Otter, Weyermann Pilsner, Bonlander Munich Malt Briess, Breiss aromatic malt, Weyermann CaraMunich II and Carafa III along with Premiant, Tettnang, and Perle hops to balance out the heavy malts. Up front, the Double Skull is a bit aggressive, but it smooths as you delve deeper.  Depending on the release, the Double Skull comes in at 8.0% to 9.1% ABV; this is a big boy, but the heavy use of malts and the caramel and hop notes really balance out the higher alcohol content for a smooth and enjoyable experience on the back end. There are slight hints of fruit and great toasted bread aromas and even notes of grassy herbs.

Heavily influenced by the death of his 8-month-old grandson, front man Max Cavalera took the sound of Soulfly into a much darker, much more aggressive and violent direction thematically.  Musically the album finds Cavalera returning more to the earlier thrash and death metal sound of his former band, Sepultura ("Arise Again").  With a rich menagerie of influence from multiple cultures, "Dark Ages" is a hearty, meaty, and dark album combining thrash, death metal, and punk elements with more experimental and evocative found field recordings.  Along with the usual metal elements and instruments, Soulfly incorporates a Jamaican thumb piano ("Riot Starter") and even a didgeridoo ("Carved Inside") along with influence from the 5 countries the album was recorded in (Serbia, Turkey, Russia, France, and the United States) as well as the tribal sounds of Cavalera's country of origin, Brazil.  The recording of guest vocalist Billy Milano of S.O.D. on "Molotov" was actually done over the phone, giving it a nice distorted sound.  Songs like "Frontline," "Corrosion Creeps," "Bleak," "Fuel The Hate," and "Staystrong" are fast-paced powerhouse monsters.  "Dark Ages" ends with the beautiful, melodic, and slow acoustic number, "Soulfly V," giving the album a nice, smooth finish.  All in all, "Dark Ages" is a powerful, topical, and aggressive thrasher with complexities and interesting tempo and chord changes aplenty... perfect for a big, meaty, and complex craft brew like the Double Skull Doppelbock Lager!


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