Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12th, 2013 - The Heroine Lives In A Dreamtower

Good evening rockers and craft ale lovers!  Tonight I'm pairing "Dreamtower" by neoclassical/progressive/power metal band Ring of Fire with a Heroine India Pale Ale (IPA) from 101 North Brewing Company, a very new (established 2012) brewery out of Petaluma, CA.

Here's what 101 North Brewing Company has to say about the Heroine IPA: "Immodest hop additions throughout the brewing process characterize this distinctive, amber colored NorCal fashioned India Pale Ale. With an ABV of 7.2% galvanized by a total of 64 IBU’s, we were obliged to create an IPA that would distinguish itself as immortal amongst the common, and with an unforgettable name. We believe we have done just that. Heroine India Pale Ale. A pint of help is on her way."  This is definitely a great beer!The Heroine IPA is a tasty and more mellow version of the style.  It pours a deep copper-amber with a 1-finger off-white head that displays strong and sustained spider web lacing.  The nose is very malt and sweet for an IPA with notes of toffee, caramel, and freshly baked bread.  The flavor is more akin to a traditional IPA with hoppy bitterness, but it is very smooth and goes down easy.   There is a nice crispness to this beer that really goes well with power metal.  A great beer, especially from a new brewery!

Speaking of great... "Dreamtower" is the second album from Ring of Fire and was released in 2002.  Fronted by former Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force collaborator/vocalist Mark Boals and including guitarist Tony MacAlpine (Planet X), drummer Virgil Donati (Planet X), grammy-award winning bassist Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai band), and keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij (Artension), this band is most definitely a super group in every sense of the term!  Boals' vocal performance is in itself worth every penny of this album... amazing!!   He's definitely an underrated metal/hard rock singer!  Musically, the album feels like a bit of a throw-back to the '80s heavy metal... in a very good way!  Songs like "My Deja Vu," "The Pharaoh's Curse," "Refuge of The Free," "Until The End Of Time," "Ghost Of America," "Murder By Numbers," and "Tumescent Rhapsody" are feats of musical genius!  MacAlpine's guitar work coupled by the rhythm section of Donati and Bynoe is awe-inspiring... powerfully executed and delivered! 

This pairing is dedicate to Malala Yousefzai, a young student who was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban cowards and scum last year because she dared to school.  She addressed the UN Youth Assembly today, on her 16th birthday, and called for improvements in global education and the responsibility of our leaders to protect the children of the world.  Check her speech out here:  Malala is a true heroine!!


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