Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16th, 2013 - A Sage Saison For The Valkyrja!

Gott kvøld!!  The Meista here again getting heavy and aggressive (and visiting my Danish roots) with Týr's latest masterpiece, "Valkyrja" (that I just picked up this week from the Heavy Metal Shop and a Utah Sage Saison Belgian-Style Ale from Epic Brewing Company!  This pairing goes out to my nephew Michael, and my metal brother and sister in arms, Jeff and Erika!  Skál... raise those horns high!!

The Utah Sage Saison is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale, funky and sharp, but with a twist... some really spicy herbs to give it a real well-rounded and original flavor.  This wonderful unique and complex ale is brewed with Weyermann Pilsner, Muttons Maris Otter, Briess Two-Row Brewers Malt, Rye Malt, Muttons Wheat Malt, and Briess Barley Flakes, along with Centennial, Citra, and Calypso hops.  Sage, thyme, and rosemary make up the added spices along with additional Citra dry-hopping.  The Utah Sage Saison pours a very cloudy golden peach in a frosted schooner with a big, frothy head that dissipates rather quickly leaving minimal lacing.  The nose is a wonderful combination of sweet and yeasty Belgian Saison goodness with floral and spicy herbs.  There are notes of malty biscuit, tangy lemon, and piney sage.  The flavor follows the same lines... very herbal, very spicy, very funky, very old-world.  There are notes of citrus, malty biscuit, and big herb flavors of sage, basil, white pepper, thyme, rosemary, and clove. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, the mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and very frothy with some sharp acidity and subtle dryness in the finish.  The finish is very spicy, very herbal.  Those sage notes really linger... in a very good way!

Released September 13th, 2013 on Metal Blade Records, "Valkyrja" is the 7th studio album by Faeroese metal giants Týr. Faster-paced and heavier than earlier Týr albums, "Valkyrja" is a metal monster of an album and one of the best releases this year!  Combining power metal, Viking folk metal, doom metal, thrash, and classic metal, "Valkyrja" transcends genres with artistic integrity, powerful musicianship, and wonderful complexity.  Heri Joensen and Terji Skibenæs provide intricate, beautiful, heavy, and kick-ass guitar riffs and solos whilst Gunnar Thomsen (bass) and George Kollias (drums) provide a thunderous rhythm section! The majority of Týr's lyrical subject matter revolves around the history, lore, and religious beliefs of the Vikings and ancient people of the Scandinavian lands.  Along with Joensen's great vocals, the very lovely Liv Kristine (former vocalist of Theater of Tragedy and current vocalist for Leave's Eyes) provides guest female vocals on the beautiful "The Lay Of Our Love."  Songs like the intense "Blood Of Heroes," the very sexually-charged "Mare Of The Night," the fist-pumping "Hel Hath No Fury" and "Nation," the harmonic "Grindavísan," the inspiring "Into The Sky," the traditional "Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð," the fiery "Lady Of The Slain," and the powerful title track are both thought-provoking and head-banging masterpieces!  And the two covers (Iron Maiden's "Where Eagles Dare" and Pantera's "Cemetery Gates") are just icing on the proverbial metal cake!  You, yes you need to own this album!!

Skál!!!  Góða ferð!!! Hails!! 

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