Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 8th, 2014 - Pale Maiden

Good evenin'!  As a tribute to the late Clive Burr on what would have been his 57th birthday, I'm pairing a favorite and what is one of the most important early metal albums of the genre,  Iron Maiden's self-titled, debut with a favorite brew of mine, a Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Pale Ale!  This one is for you Clive... rest in peace!!

Released on April 14th, 1980, "Iron Maiden" was completed in only 13 days!  The lineup at the time was Paul Di'Anno on lead vocals, Steve Harris on bass guitar and backing vocals, Dave Murray on lead/rhythm guitar, Dennis Stratton on lead/rhythm guitar and backing vocals, the late, great Clive Burr on drums.  Sputnikmusic once described the album as "one of the top debut albums in the world of heavy metal," with "the raw, aggressive power [that] defines the early years of the band."  Wholly original, "Iron Maiden" combined late '70s punk with early '70s hard rock and prog rock to help create the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) sound.  I cannot over-emphasize how important and mind-blowing the musicianship and track list is on this album!  Songs like "Prowler", "Remember Tomorrow", "Phantom Of The Opera", "Transylvania", Charlotte The Harlot, and "Iron Maiden" are all breathtaking rockers of the utmost metal awesomeness!!  Goddamn, this is cool shit!!  Fan favorites "Iron Maiden", "Phantom Of The Opera", "Running Free", and "Sanctuary" are still performed live to this day!  And how 'bout that album cover?!  Derek Riggs, the original and definitive Eddie/Maiden artist recreated the album cover for the 1998 remastered edition (which is what I own).  As you can see, this disc itself displays the original cover... another element of the brilliance of this album!!

An album this important, this profound, and this solid deserves a brew of similar merit... thus the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!  Pouring a beautiful honey gold in my "metal guitar" pint glass, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale displays a big, frothy 2-finger, white head that shows good retention.  The nose is grassy, earthy, and malty.  There are aromas of summer dew, piney hops, and fresh bread.  Crisp and refreshing, this light-bodied ale's mouthfeel is very drinkable and very lively.  The flavor is a perfect balance of hops and malts.  There are notes of English biscuits, freshly baked bread, pine, grapefruit, and a hint of caramel.  It finishes clean, crisp, and dry.  Perfect!  Nothing fancy, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is just a solid, rockin' brew that is a killer companion to the brilliance of "Iron Maiden"!!

Cheers... and UP THE IRONS!!!

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