Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2nd, 2013 - Images And A Gift From The Beer And Prog Gods

Good evening!!  The Meista here with another pairing for you!  Tonight I'm drinking Unibroue's Don de Dieu Triple Wheat Ale On Lees and rocking out to prog-metal masters Dream Theater and their 1992 album, "Images And Words."  Oh, and this pairing is dedicated to my buddy, Jeff Turner who hosts my favorite facebook page, Progressive Power: check it out!!  Cheers my friend!!

Apart from Rush, by the late '80s and early '90s prog-rock was all but dead.  And then something amazing happened!  At the height of the grunge movement, a bunch of fairly unknown kids from New York with a Canadian singer released the single "Pull Me Under" from their 2nd album, a multi-layered, complex, and epic metal/prog rocker, and a new age of prog was born, but with a twist.  Not only had they been influenced by ELP, Yes, early Genesis, and Kansas, they had deep roots in power metal (Iron Maiden and Fates Warning)and thrash (Metallica and Megadeth) as well.  Kevin Moore's keyboard work is beautiful, rich, and profound with a nod to Keith Emerson.  James LaBrie's vocals are melodic, wonderfully high, and honest.  John Myung's bass work is god-like... intricate, driving, and magical (just listen to the tapping on "Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper"!)  Mike Portnoy's drumming is in a word, incredible!  And John Petrucci's guitar work gives all prog guitarists before him a huge run for their money!  Ethereal at times, powerful and completely metal throughout, "Images and Words" is one of the most important albums of its age in my opinion.  It redefined not only prog-rock, but music in general.  The musicianship and song writing is what matters for Dream Theater.  Image (and just words) are always secondary.  Every song on this album is perfection.  From opening track "Pull Me Under" (the band's only hit) to "Another Day" to the epic "Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper" to "Under A Glass Moon" and on to finale, "Learning To Live," this album is an experiment in profundity and artistic integrity!

Named for the ship of explorer, Samuel de Champlain's ship the Don de Dieu (Gift of God), Unibroue's Don de Dieu Triple Wheat is a bold and insanely complex abbey-style ale.  It pours a cloudy and opaque goldenrod-amber with a thick, frothy head.  The nose is sweet with wonderful ester aroma notes of ripe pear, peach, and white wine with just a hint of spice.  The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with a medium body and a lingering frothiness from the carbonation.  Interestingly enough, the flavor is unlike the nose with a more caramel flavor and notes of butterscotch, toasted malts, and a hint of spiced apple sauce.  The finish is crisp, clean, and rather dry.  As with all of Unibroue's ales, this is a wonderfully, complex, and flavorful Belgian-styled ale... perfect for the profound complexity of Dream Theater's musical acrobatics!!

I'm not sure if it was the guitar work on the song "Surrounded" or the 9% ABV of the Don de Dieu, but I think my face just melted!!  :)  Check out the Don de Dieu at and pick up a copy of "Images and Words" by Dream Theater right away!!

I raise a glass to you all my friends!!  Thanks for your support!!  Cheers!!

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