Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28th, 2014 - Facing The Nemesis With A Lagunitas IPA!

Good evening my friends!  The Meista here pairing the breathtaking symphonic metal album "Nemesis" by Stratovarius and a Lagunitas IPA from Lagunitas Brewing Company!

Released February 22nd, 2013,"Nemesis" is the 14th studio album by the amazing and highly influential Finnish power/symphonic metal band Stratovarius. A bit more aggressive than previous albums, "Nemesis" is a fast-paced ride of dizzying musical integrity and power!  Songs like "Abandon", "Stand My Ground", "Halcyon Days", "Dragons", "One Must Fall", and the title track "Nemesis" provide modern, electronic symphonic metal progression, but with a solid, head-banging backbone!  The band on this kick-ass album includes the amazing range of Timo Kotipelto on lead vocals, Matias Kupiainen on the soaring lead and rhythm guitars (and mixing/production), Jens Johansson on keyboards, Rolf Pilve on drums, and Lauri Porra on bass guitar.  Former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen provides guest acoustic guitar work and backing vocals and the "Shark Finns" provide backing vocals as well.  And how hot is that album cover by Gyula Havancsák?!  (According to keyboardist Jens Johansson, the "woman on the cover may be a savior, an avenger, or the author of all the destruction.")  Well, whatever the case, all I know is the cover art is almost as amazing on the music within!!

Speaking of amazing... with such a sharply poignant and aggressive album as "Nemesis" you need an equally sharp, yet complex brew... which of course means a very bitter and hoppy IPA in this man's book!  Lagunitas IPA has a "raging hop character", yet sweet maltiness that fits perfectly with the demanding qualities of "Nemesis."   Like the opening to "Halcyon Days", the nose smacks you right in the face with its hop intensity.   Poured in a "large mouth," Lagunitas' Mason jar, this IPA looks just like clover honey... golden perfection with a 1-finger head that shows strong and sustained lacing.  The flavor is floral, bitter, and biting.  It tastes just like "Out Of The Fog " my friends... or at least like Kupiainen's guitar work on the song!  You love it, but you know it is too sexy for you!  There are notes of summer grass, pine resin, and bitter roots.  The Lagunitas IPA finishes crisp and clean with some slight lingering bitterness... and it makes for a wonderful pairing with a wonderful album like "Nemesis"!  As the label on my bottle of  Lagunitas IPA states, "Life is uncertain, Don't Sip!"


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