Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9th, 2013 - Awaken The Steam!

Good afternoon my rocking/drinking friends!  The Meista here with another pairing for you... today I'm pairing Fates Warning's 1986 album "Awaken The Guardian" with a tasty lager, an Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California.  And this one goes out to my buddy Jeff, who runs the great progressive/power metal facebook page, Progressive Power (  He also requested a pairing with this band.  Cheers Jeff!! 

Released in November of 1986, "Awaken The Guardian" is Fates Warning's third studio album.  Formed in 1982 in Hartford, Connecticut, Fates warning was made up of vocalist John Arch, guitarists Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase, and drummer Steve Zimmerman.  Having influenced bands like Queensrÿche, Symphony X, and Dream Theater, Fates Warning is an "anchor" and one of the "flagship bands" of American progressive/power metal.  With their soaring and booming guitar and bass work, explosive and wonderful vocals, pounding drums, and mythical lyrics and atmosphere, Fates Warning created a powerhouse of an album with "Awaken The Guardian."  Songs like "The Sorcerer," "Valley Of The Dolls," "Guardian," "Prelude to Ruin," and "Exodus" channel the intensity of Judas Priest, the complex song structure of early Queensrÿche, and the vocal power of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson.  "Giant's Lore (Hear Of Winter)" has an almost NWOBHM quality (think Angel Witch), but with the intricacies of progressive rock.  With interesting signature changes and inspiring musicianship, "Awaken The Guardian" is a wonderful, wonderful album and a great place to start for new fans or the curious.  (Check out "The Spectre Within" as well!)  Sadly, this would be the last album to feature Arch on vocals.  He would be replaced by Ray Alder (another great vocalist) on the band's next album, 1988's "No Exit. " After "No Exit," the band would start to go into a bit of a mellower, more progressive direction.

To compliment the complexity and aggression of Fates Warning's "Awaken The Guardian," I decided that I needed to go with the solid crafting that is an Anchor Brewing Company's Anchor Steam Beer...  nothing too fancy, but just a good, very drinkable lager... perfect for some head-banging with the Fates boys!!  Dating back to the 1800s, steam beers are usually brewed with a "special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures" according to the Beer Advocate (  Since ice wasn't any easy commodity to come by in California at that time, this method of brewing became quite popular.  The Anchor Steam pours a a deep copper-amber with a thick and creamy, white head with bubbly lacing that has good retention.  The nose smells of caramel and toasted malts.  There are some subtle woodsy notes in there as well.  The Anchor Steam has a medium body with good carbonation... crisp and refreshing.  The flavor is mildly fruity with an assertive hop kick. There are some really smooth, toasted oat notes along with a good, strong maltiness.  It goes down really easy and has a nice, clean finish.

So pour yourself a frosty pint of Anchor Steam, crank up the Fates Warning, and check out my buddy's page at!!  Learn more about Anchor Steam at  Cheers!!

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