Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30th, 2013 - Peter's Sharing A Brew With A Demon And A Wizard

Good afternoon!  Today I'm pairing Demons & Wizards self-titled album and a Peter's Brand Classics Dutch Style Pilsner!

What would you get if Blind Guardian's vocalist Hansi Kürsch joined Iced Earth or if Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer joined Blind Guardian?  You would get side project Demons & Wizards... that's what!  So it only took me 13 years to purchase this fantastic album for some weird reason, but man is it good!!  Released in February 2000, Demons & Wizards is the wonderful side project of  Kürsch and Schaffer.  Kürsch provides the lyrics and vocals; Schaffer provides the music, lead, rhythm, and bass guitars.  They are joined by Jim Morris on additional lead guitars and Mark Prator on drums (both of whom worked with Iced Earth in the past).  With the obvious nod to the Uriah Heep album, the band's name comes from Schaffer's wife's nickname Kürsch and Schaffer.  She originally called them Demon and Angel, but Kürsch told her he was no angel.  for Musically, "Demons & Wizards" is pure power metal in every sense of the term, characterized by soaring guitars, thunderous and explosive drums and bass, and epic mythological and fantasy-based lyrics.  Kürsch's recognizable voice is brilliant; his huge range is mesmerizing!  Schaffer's writing and guitar work is very much in the Iced Earth vein - mighty, bombastic, and fist-pumping perfection!  Songs like "Rites Of Passage," "Heaven Denies," "Blood On My Hands," "Winter Of Souls," "Tear Down The Wall," "Gallows Pole," and "My Last Sunrise" are powerful, dynamic, and heavy power metal classics in the tradition of the members' collective bands along with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Hammerfall.  They offer some richly complex "softer" songs as well like "Fiddler On The Green" and "The Whistler." The also do a wicked version of Cream's "White Room" on the expanded edition of the album.  "Demons & Wizards" is power metal as it is meant to be played... heavy, fast, and kick-ass!!

For a pairing with the power that is "Demons & Wizards," I decided to go with something that goes down easy and in a can... so you can crush it during the crescendo of "My Last Sunrise"!  Peter's Brand Pilsner is a Dutch-style German Pilsner brewed by Union Export Brewery in Breda, Holland by Hofbrauhaus Wolters GMBH, Braunschweig, Germany.  It pours a deep, transparent gold with a thin, slightly off-white head.  Clear and bubbly, this is a very drinkable Pilsner in the traditional style. The aroma is of a somewhat pungent, buttery, and with a malty bouquet.  The flavor is that of sweet, biscuit-like malts, grassy hops, and subtle sugars. There are notes of freshly baked sour dough bread, German yeast, and just a hint of spicy apple cider.  The mouthfeel is light and crisp.  It finishes mostly dry, refreshing, and clean... quite enjoyable.  Nothing too complex here, I think it makes for a good foil with the mighty complexity and richness of "Demons & Wizards"!!


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