Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10th, 2014 - A Higher Dimension Of Honey Wheat Ale

Good evening my friends!  The Meista here tonight pairing "Higher Dimensions" by progressive rock band Active Heed and a Roosters Brewing Company Honey Wheat Ale!  This one goes out my friend Umberto Pagnini... thanks for sharing your great album with me Umberto... cheers!!

The Honey Wheat from Roosters is 6% ABV, traditional American Pale Wheat Ale with honey.  Essentially an Americanized Hefeweizen, the Honey Wheat is refreshing and very drinkable, yet displays some nice complexity.  Unfiltered, it pours a very hazy honey-gold with a bright, 2-finger head that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin, white cap.  The nose is a subtle blend of malt and sweetness.  There are mellow aromas of freshly baked wheat bread, malts, yeast, and honey.  The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with a little frothiness in the back.  Brewed with 40% wheat malt and pure clover honey, the taste is a nice balance of cracked wheat notes and sweeter honey notes.  The honey flavor is definitely predominate, but not overpowering or too sweet.  There are also some nice floral and herbal hop notes blended perfectly into the heartier wheat and sweeter honey flavors.  The finish is characterized by a really nice, lingering clove honey note. 

Recorded at Arci Tom's LaSala1 in Mantova, Italy and PelleK's Ninja Academy in Vestfold, Norway March through April 2014, "Higher Dimensions" is the second full-length album by progressive rock band Active Heed.  All of the brilliant music and lyrics were written by band leader Umberto Pagnini, (except "Not Left And Not Taken", which was written by Pagnini and Cristiano Roversi).  Roversi provided keys and bass, and also arranged and produced the album. Drums were played by Gian Maria Roveda (of Gran Torino fame). Guitars were played by Mirco Ravenoldi.  And vocals are by the great Per Fredrik Asly (of Damnation Angels and PelleK fame).  Steeped in a good dose of '70s prog (Camel, Genesis, Gentle Giant, PFM, Yes, etc.), but with a modern flare and some nice prog/power metal elements, "Higher Dimensions" is a wonderfully intricate yet very accessible and listenable album.  Ravenoldi's ethereal guitar work is reminiscent of Steve Hackett, which works really well with Pagnini's soaring melodies and Asly's massive vocal range.  Roveda's drum work and Roversi's bass and keyboard top off this tight prog outfit in near musical perfection.  Songs like "Crop Squares", "Gaps In Time", "Kick-Ass Grammar", "No Speed Limit", "Not Left And Not Taken", "The Numbers Of God", and "The War Of Tempos" are powerful, melodic, and simply brilliant!  If you are into early Genesis prog type bands like I am, check out Active Heed!  Learn more about this amazingly talented band here:


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