Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31st 2012 - Epicloud, Epicbeer To Ring In The New Year!

How about an "epic" pairing this afternoon?  Hey gang!  The Meista here pairing Epic Brewing Company's Capt'n Crompton's Pale Ale and "Epicloud" by the prolific and enigmatic Devin Townsend and his band the Devin Townsend Project.

"Epicloud" is the 5th album by the Devin Townsend Project and was released September 18, 2012.  Of the album, Townsend recently stated in an interview with Noisecreep, "There's sort of new agey stuff, jazzy stuff, really heavy stuff. We basically cover the gamut. Epicloud is the first record that I felt confident enough to include all those things on one record so it goes between melodic hard rock to schizophrenic heavy metal to country to really ambient stuff and it's all in one place. I'm using a gospel choir, a string section and a horn section for this one as well."  This may sound chaotic, but it is a very cohesive, beautiful work of artistry.  For Townsend (who formed the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad) this is far more poppy and radio-friendly music, and yet there is still his signature production style, his depth of sound ("wall of sound"), musicianship, and songwriting skill.  There are so many interesting elements with this album.  Sometimes ambient, sometimes heavy, sometimes bombastic, sometimes beautifully haunting, "Epicloud" is an addictively listenable album.  Songs like heavy rocking "Liberation" and "Kingdom," the beautiful "Where We Belong" and "Grace," the bombastic and breathtaking "Save Our Now," and the amazing "Angel" are just some of the elements that bring so much texture and depth to this album.  And Anneke Van Giersbergen's amazing vocals add even more depth and beauty to Townsend's amazing compositions.  Maybe not my favorite album of 2012, "Epicloud" may very well be the most interesting and refreshing album I've come across this past year. 

And speaking of interesting and refreshing, one of my favorite breweries is Epic Brewing Company hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah.  As with Devin Townsend's musical style, their brewing approach is quite prolific and sometimes a bit enigmatic.  One of my favorites of theirs is Capt'n Crompton's Pale Ale.  It is a wonderfully flavorful pale ale.  Brewed with Pacific Northwest Cascade, Centennial, Mount Hood in the boil and dry hopped with more Cascade hops, the Capt'n Crompton's Pale Ale's nose is very floral, very hoppy, with a nice bicuity balance from the Maris Otter malt.  It pours a beautiful orange/copper hue with a big, frothy, white head.  A nice, traditional pale, the Capt'n Crompton's Pale Ale is a well balanced brew with just the right citrusy and bitter hoppiness and just the right amount of malty sweetness.  There are notes of sweet biscuit, pine, lemon grass, and grapefruit.  Incredibly drinkable, it is complex, yet goes down very smooth with a nice, dry finish.  A very inviting ale to be sure... perfect for the wonderful complexity and inviting and engaging music of the Devin Townsend Project!

Be careful out there my friends!  Happy New Year!!

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