Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8th, 2015 - Daydreaming Of Apparations, Espresso, And Stouts

Good afternoon!  The Meista here pairing one of my favorite albums, Opeth's brilliant "Ghost Reveries" with a La Semeuse Espresso Stout from Brasserie Trois Dames for ya!  Hell yes!!
Album Info:
  • Artist: Opeth
  • Title: "Ghost Reveries" (Deluxe Edition)
  • Recorded: March 15th through June 1st, 2005 at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden
  • Release date: August 27th, 2005
  • Record company: Roadrunner Records
  • Album cover art: Travis Smith
  • Personnel: Mikael Åkerfeldt (vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, and Mellotron), Peter Lindgren (lead guitar), Martin Lopez (drums and percussion), Martin Mendez (bass), and Per Wiberg (Hammond organ, Mellotron, grand piano, and Moog synthesizer)  
  • Additional musicians: Martin Axenrot − drums on "Soldier of Fortune"
  • Musical style: Progressive death metal, progressive rock/metal
  • Sound: At times, heavy as hell and at others, soft and melodic, "Ghost Reveries" is a wholly engaging music journey.  Åkerfeldt's growling death metal vocals are as brutal and evil as they get while his clean vocals convey truth, beauty, and melancholy.  The band's songwriting, execution, and musical prowess is second to none!
  • Major themes: Initially the album had been intended to be a concept album about a man dealing with an horrific act he has committed, but it evolved into a partial concept album.  Of the album Åkerfeldt stated, "I had intended to do a occult concept piece lyrically and got off to a great start with some downright evil lyrics like "The Baying of the Hounds" and "Ghost of Perdition", then I did "Isolation Years" which had nothing to do with the intended concept but I liked it so much I decided to ease up on the concept idea in favour of this one lyric. Why I decided on a occult theme? Well, I've always been intrigued by it, especially Satanism and stuff like that. I studied some books that oddly enough my wife had in her collection like "Servants of Satan" as well as "Witchcraft and Sorcery" + some more. I figured it'd be interesting to see what a mature 31 year old mind would make of this subject as opposed to the 16 year old kid who used to pose in front of his Bathory poster. I'm quite happy with them to be honest, and they're.....evil!"
  • Tracks:
  1. "Ghost Of Perdition"
  2. "The Baying Of The Hounds"
  3. "Beneath The Mire"
  4. "Atonement"
  5. "Reverie/Harlequin Forest"
  6. "Hours Of Wealth"
  7. "The Grand Conjuration"
  8. "Isolation Years"
  9. ""Soldier of Fortune" (Deep Purple cover bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album)
    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Brasserie Trois Dames (Sainte-Croix, Switzerland)
  • Website:
  • Brew: La Semeuse Espresso Stout
  • Style: Milk/Sweet Stout w/Espresso
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Ingredients: Chocolate malt, hops, unfermented sugars, and local yeast blended with a mix of rich coffee (10% Robusta from Vietnam to 90% Arabica from Brasil and Ethiopia)
  • Pour: Ink black with a fluffy mocha head that displays good retention and lacing.
  • Nose: A lovely blend of earthy and rich roasted cocoa beans, coffee beans, and hearty bread.  There are aromas of semi-sweet bakers chocolate, toffee, and espresso, along with hints of vanilla, cream, and bitter hops. 
  • Taste: Crisp lactose stout flavor mixed with rich coffee and cocoa.  There are notes of creamy milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, tangy espresso, woody oak, vanilla bean, cream, marshmallow, and toffee.
  • Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated (a bit too high for a stout) and full-bodied, the mouthfeel is fairly smooth and creamy with a dry finish.
  • Note: The La Semeuse Espresso Stout is imported from Switzerland, which makes it a little hard to find and includes a bit of a hefty price tag.  I paid $15 for a 12 ounce bottle.
Overall pairing: The richly textured brilliance of Opeth's "Ghost Reveries" deserves nothing less than a complex and robust ale... thus the La Semeuse Espresso Stout from Brasserie Trois Dames!  The rich coffee and cocoa flavors of the brew work well with the more progressive elements of the album, while the more bitter, dry, and biting flavors work well with the aggressive death metal elements.

Proscht, Skål, and Hails!!

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