Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2nd, 2015 - The Seventh Life Path To The Abbey

God dag!  Time for something a little darker... both in sound and in taste!  The Meista here pairing "The Seventh Life Path", the latest from Norwegian gothic metal/symphonic metal band Sirenia and an Abbey Belgian-Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company!
Album Info:
  • Artist: Sirenia
  • Title: "The Seventh Life Path"
  • Recorded: Audio Avenue Studios, Tau, Norway and additional recordings were done in Sound Suite Studios, Marseille, France
  • Release date: May 12th, 2015 (7th studio album from Sirenia)
  • Record company: Napalm Records
  • Production: Morten Veland
  • Album cover art: Gyula Havancsák of Hjules Illustration and Design
  • Personnel: Ailyn (vocals) and Morten Veland (guitars, vocals, bass, piano, synth, programming, and mandolin)
  • Additional musicians: Joakim Næss (vocals on "Elixir") and The Sirenian Choir (Damien Surian, Mathieu Landry, Emmanuelle Zoldan, and Emilie Bernou)
  • Musical style: Gothic metal/symphonic metal with elements of progressive metal and death metal
  • Sound: Wonderful atmospheric and rather dark, and yet also uplifting, the sound on "The Seventh Life Path" is wonderfully complex and cinematic.  Ailyn's beautifully haunting vocals are a wonderful contrast to the darker metal elements of the album.  Veland's growling vocals are a great foil to the soaring, operatic range of Ailyn as well as to Veland's own soaring guitar work.  And Joakim Næss' clean vocal performance is a really nice addition along with the choir.
  • Major themes: Steeped in mythology, folklore, and fantasy motifs, the album's themes include life and death, emotional states, human existence, and mental states.
  • Notes: Of the album cover art, Havancsák stated the following: "I got some instructions from the band for the making of this cover artwork. They wanted the character of death standing behind a white dressed woman. My first thought was: How can I show a beautiful girl without face? How can I avoid to show a girl face? Well, I draw a white hood on her face, with crochet part in front of her eyes. This part looks like as a big eye that watches the fate of humans. She pull a life thread, but this one soul is lost. We can see this line (could be silver for example) change to disgusting muddy brown between her fingers...and this thread runs into a hourglass..., it falls down in the sand." He added that Sirenia "wanted to see some roots and tree branches on the cover and the scythe that looks as the number 7 and a mountain with a path in the background. The mountain symbolizes life, the top of the mountain is the end of life. The highest point where you can look back your whole life. This is the meaning of the flexous path... The 7 number appears as 7 ravens, 7 snakes, 7 roses on the dried out wreath."
  • Tracks: 
  1. "Seti"
  2. "Serpent"
  3. "Once My Light"
  4. "Elixir"
  5. "Sons Of The North"
  6. "Earendel"
  7. "Concealed Disdain"
  8. "Insania"
  9. "Contemptuous Quietus"
  10. "The Silver Eye"
  11. "Tragedienne"
  12. "Tragica" (Bonus Track)

    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Brew: Abbey Belgian-Style Ale
  • Style: Dubbel
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 7.0%
  • IBUs: 20
  • Ingredients: Belgian yeast; Pale, Chocolate, Carapils, C-80, and Munich malts; and
    Willamette, Nugget, Liberty hops
  • Pour: Slightly hazy "deep redwood-mahogany" with a 1-finger tan head that holds it form well throughout and leaves sticky, layered lacing.
  • Nose: The nose of the Abbey is bready, sweet, fruity, and spicy.  There are aromas of yeast, soft banana, pink bubble gum, spice cake, nutmeg, cloves, plums, raisins, and hints of smoky tobacco. 
  • Taste: Like the nose, the taste of the  Abbey is a well-blended complexity of bready, sweet, and spicy flavors.  There are notes of banana bread, spice cake, sweet caramel/toffee, Tootsie Rolls, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, white pepper, and raisins and prunes, with hints of vanilla and rum.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with lower carbonation, the Abbey Belgian-Style Ale has a very creamy mouthfeel with some warming in the middle.  The finish is dry and slightly peppery.
Overall pairing: The richly textured pageantry and thunderous sound of Sirenia's "The Seventh Life Path" is perfect for the bold, intricate, and bombastic flavors of New Belgium Brewing Company's award-winning Abbey Belgian-Style Ale!  The fruit esters and sweet malts blend wonderfully with Ailyn's enchanting vocals, while the spicier, boozier elements work perfectly with the dark imagery and overall sound of the album!  I highly recommend both!


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