Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30th, 2012 - An Autotheistic And Dark IPA

Hello my ale and music brethren!  The Meista here with another pairing for you... and we are going into a darker world with this one!  Today I'm pairing Moab Brewery's Black Imperial IPA (one of their Desert Select Ales) with "Autotheism," the latest album by the Faceless.

Moab Brewery's Black Imperial IPA is a dark, rich, and hoppy concoction.  Moab Brewery employs Two Row barley, fresh Moab water, their house yeast, multiple Pacific Northwest hops, and finished off with a dry hopping process.  It is then fermented in American oak barrels and bottle conditioned for optimum fermentation and taste.  It pours a deep chestnut brown with a frothy, cream-colored, 2-finger head with strong, sustained lacing throughout.  The nose has a nice balance of bitter coffee and floral hops.  There are notes of pine resin, lemon, and grapefruit along with the earthy, coffee notes.  The flavor is complex, hoppy, yet smooth.  There are some nicely pronounced Schwarzbier elements up front... smokiness, coffee, and toffee notes.  The mid-range and finish is hoppy, citrusy, and a bit warming from the alcohol content.  Coming in at 8.59% ABV, the Black Imperial IPA has some good kick and bite, but it finishes clean, dry, and rather smooth and less astringent for an IPA.  All in all, a nice, complex ale with good balance and flavors.

"Autotheism" is the 3rd full-length album by expansive, extreme metal monsters, the Faceless.  Still a technical death metal album, the Faceless embrace a more progressive path with "Autotheism," much in the vein of Opeth.  Although many fans seem to be somewhat frustrated with this album as it is a rather large departure from their last album (the powerful monolith, "Planetary Duality"), I find "Autotheism" to be a breathtaking, robust, and complex work.  The Faceless employ their signature technical wizardry, but couple that with a more experimental and avante garde death/black metal approach.  Along with their brutal riffs and growling voice, clean lyrics and guitars along with more mellow passages abound.  They even incorporate saxophone, strings, piano, and even some industrial elements into this delightfully dark album.  The lyrics are compelling, dark, and mysterious with an abundance of introspection ("there is no truth, only perspective") and exploration of dark ritual.  Brutal at times and haunting at others, "Autotheism" is a compelling, distintive, and brilliant endevour from start to finish.  And it goes great with Moab Brewery's Black Imperial IPA with the balance of the rich, black Schwarzbier elements and the hoppy, bitter IPA elements.

Learn more about Moab Brewery and the Black Imperial IPA at and visit my buddy Kevin at the Heavy Metal Shop to pick up a copy of "Autotheism" by the Faceless:!

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