Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30th, 2015 - A Stone Flight In The Underworld

 Good evening!!  Something a little different tonight.  The Meista here pairing the brilliant new album from prog-metal gods Symphony X with a 4-beer flight from Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station rather than a single brew!!  Hell yeah!! 
Album Info:
  • Artist: Symphony X
  • Title: "Underworld"
  • Recorded: September 2014 through January 2015 at the Dungeon (Michael Romeo's home studio)
  • Release date: July 24th, 2015 (9th studio album by Symphony X)
  • Record company: Nuclear Blast
  • Production: Michael Romeo
  • Album cover art: Warren Flanagan and Milena Zdravkovic
  • Personnel: Russell Allen (lead vocals), Michael Lepond (bass), Michael Pinnella (keyboards), Michael Romeo (guitars), and Jason Rullo (drums)
  • Musical style: Progressive metal, power metal, neo-classical metal
  • Sound: As with all Symphony X albums, the sound is freakin' HUGE!!  Of the album's sound, Romeo stated, "Musically, Underworld has things reminiscent of the bands previous albums but this one definitely has its own individuality. Every element added was in service of the song, so the album flows and becomes a total listening experience from start to finish. Every song is to the point and fine-tuned, with us paying a lot of attention to the hooks, voices, riffs, and keeping the interest and the energy high for the entire record. It is heavy and aggressive as fuck when it needs to be, yet soaring and emotional at other times. I think the balance is just right. It had to have all the elements of what we normally would do, just tweaked up a notch and really fine-tuned."
  • Major themes: Although not a traditional concept album, "Underworld" was inspired by Dante's Inferno and the songs include common themes regarding Hell and suffering.  Of the album's themes, guitarist/producer Romeo stated, "We try to find something to key in on and get the juices flowing, and here the goal was to find something a little dark but with emotional content.  I started looking at Dante, and Orpheus in the underworld, where he's going to go to Hades or hell to save this girl.  So there's the theme of going to hell and back for something or someone you care about."
  • Notes:
  • Tracks: 
  1. "Overture"
  2. "Nevermore"
  3. "Underworld"
  4. "Without You"
  5. "Kiss Of Fire"
  6. "Charon"
  7. "To Hell And Back"
  8. "In My Darkest Hour"
  9. "Run With The Devil"
  10. "Swan Song"
  11. "Legend"

    Brew Info:
(from left to right in the pic for all bullets below):
  • Brews: Stone Liberty Station 30,000 Bowl Pyramid Multigrain Beer, Stone Liberty Station Kevin Eastman & Kris Ketcham It's Pizza Time Saison, Stone Liberty Station Gose Gose Gadget, and Stone Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Farking Wheaton W00t Stout 3.0
  • Style:  Multigrain Beer, Saison (brewed with jalapeno and pineapple), Gose (brewed with smoked sea salt and coriander), and Imperial Stout (brewed with cocoa, pecans, wheat, and rye and aged in bourbon barrels)
  • Serving: 4 ounce samplers off the taps
  • ABV: 6.8%, 5.9%, 4.1%, and 13.0%
  • Pour: Slightly cloudy deep mahogany red, cloudy peach-orange, cloudy golden straw-yellow, and ink black
  • Nose: hearty multigrain bread, jalapeno and pineapple pizza (seriously!), tart lemon and salt, chocolate covered nuts with coffee and bourbon
  • Taste: all 4 are an explosion of taste - hearty bread and sweet malts, spicy and tangy jalapeno peppers and juicy pineapple with spices, very tart and salty lemon juice with hints of dill, and bold bourbon-soaked/dark chocolate covered coffee beans and pecans
  • Mouthfeel: ranging from crisp and malty light to medium-bodied all the way to sticky, thick full-bodied creaminess
Overall pairing: The insanely powerful music of Symphony X with all their compelling and thoughtful lyrics, songwriting prowess, soaring and aggressive vocals, and brilliant musicianship can really only be paired with multiple ales!  The sheer profundity of "Underworld" deserves all the complexity, flavor, and intensity of a 4-beer flight from Stone Brewing!!

Cheers and hails!!

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