Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17th, 2013 - Remedy Wit

Released in 2002, "Remedy Lane" is the 4th studio album by Swedish progressive metal band Pain of Salvation.  I'm pairing this album tonight with an Epic Brewing Company Wit Beer (Release #18). 

"Remedy Lane" is a concept album of sorts exploring a man's search for truth and his own self-discovery.  The songs deal with his emotions and actions revolving around love, lust, sex, loss, pain, and ultimately, acceptance.  A highly personal album, "Remedy Lane" was written by Daniel Gildenlöw, the band's leader, lyricist, chief composer, guitarist, and lead vocalist.  Gildenlöw stated that the inspiration for album was his desire to learn what true freedom could be in that particular era of his life.  As with all Pain of Salvation albums, "Remedy Lane's" sound is characterized by heavy use of staccato, experiments with polyrhythmic approaches, powerful guitar-driven songwriting, and a broad range of vocal delivery.  They are also known for their interesting and complex signature/tempo changes.  One thing I've always loved about this band is that they don't really sound like anyone else.  Being "progressive" metal their are some elements of Pink Floyd and Yes, but their sound is remarkably original, deep, and complex.  The album is broken up into three "chapters" with a separate prelude, "Of The Two Beginnings" as the opening track.  Along with Gildenlöw's great voice and soaring guitars, Fredrik Hermansson provides very precise and emotional keyboards, Johan Hallgren provides powerful guitars and backing vocals, Johan Langell provides thunderous and swinging drumming, and Kristoffer Gildenlöw provides equally intense bass and backing vocals.  As a bonus for the obsessive compulsive fan, the liner notes for "Remedy Lane" include bonus drawings, photos, and poems relative to the concept of the album as well as chronological dating to help the more dedicated listener piece the album together as a more cohesive artistic piece. 

Although brewed in the wit tradition, Epic's Wit Beer is higher in alcohol content than most wits, but still very drinkable and smooth.  Epic uses Premium Weyermann Pilsner, Briess Flaked oats, Ultra-premium Muntons wheat malt, Weyermann Acidulated Malt, and Rice Hulls with a minimal amount of Saaz and Tettanger hops.  They also use bitter and sweet orange peel, ground ginger, cardamom pods, grains of paradise, and whole unscented coriander to give their wit some nice really spice strength.  As with tradition witbiers, Epic's Wit Beer is a Belgian Style ale that is quite pale and cloudy in appearance due to high level of wheat and the fact that it is unfiltered.  Wits are often referred to as "white beers" (witbieren) due to their cloudiness (suspended yeast).  Epic's Wit Beer pour a lovely wheat gold with a frothy head that dissipates rather quickly.  The nose is grainy and spicy with strong notes of baked bread and soft clove.  Light-bodied, the mouthfeel is crisp, somewhat dry, and very refreshing with a good dose of carbonation.  The flavor is at once banana, but as it warms, white peppery flavors, coriander, and orange peel and lemon really become prominent.  There are also those really rich Belgian yeast and wheat malt flavors that give this beer a fantastic and balanced flavor.  It finishes very clean as well!  The Epic Brewing Company Wit Beer is definitely a beer I will be drinking again very soon!


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