Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14th, 2016 - The Astonishing Biere De Mars

Hello!  The Meista here today pairing another new brew from the fine folks at Uinta Brewing Company... Biere De Mars French Style Spring Ale and Dream Theater's latest album "The Astonishing"!   I got "The Astonishing" on special order from my good buddy Kevin at the Heavy Metal Shop (!   Make sure you check his store out!!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Dream Theater
  • Title: "The Astonishing"
  • Recorded: January through June and August through September 2015 at Cove City Sound Studios, Glen Cove, New York
  • Release date: January 29th, 2016 (13th studio album by Dream Theater)
  • Record company: Roadrunner Records
  • Production: John Petrucci
  • Album cover art: Jiema
  • Personnel: James LaBrie (lead vocals), Mike Mangini (drums and percussion), John Myung (bass), John Petrucci (guitars), and Jordan Rudess (keyboards)
  • Additional musicians: David Campbell (orchestral and choir arrangements), City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and Eric Rigler (bagpipes)
  • Musical style: Progressive metal/rock
  • Sound: In a word, epic!  Like all of Dream Theater's albums, "The Astonishing" is a bold, grandiose work with moments of bombastic and cinematic power and moments of soft and haunting beauty.  The band is tight, LaBrie's vocals soar, and the music is as mind-blowingly intricate as ever!
  • Major themes: "The Astonishing" is a two act science fiction concept album that takes place in a distant future dystopian America.  Themes include rebellion, truth, betrayal, music, passion, jealousy, etc.  Of the album's subject matter, Petrucci stated, "I was thinking of all of the things now that people used to do that they don’t do anymore because they’re automated or done by robots: lots of jobs, self-driving cars coming right around the corner ... My thought was, 'What would happen if with all the advances in technology in music that music [became] all artificial?'"
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Descent of the NOMACS"
  2. "Dystopian Overture"
  3. "The Gift Of Music"
  4. "The Answer"
  5. "A Better Life"
  6. "Lord Nafaryus"
  7. "A Savior in the Square"
  8. "When Your Time Has Come"
  9. "Act of Faythe"
  10. "Three Days"
  11. "The Hovering Sojourn"
  12. "Brother, Can You Hear Me?"
  13. "A Life Left Behind"
  14. "Ravenskill"
  15. "Chosen"
  16. "A Tempting Offer"
  17. "Digital Discord"
  18. "The X Aspect"
  19. "A New Beginning"
  20. "The Road To Revolution"
  1. "2285 Entr'acte"
  2. "Moment Of Betrayal"
  3. "Heaven's Cove"
  4. "Begin Again"
  5. "The Path That Divides"
  6. "Machine Chatter"
  7. "The Walking Shadow"
  8. "My Last Farewell"
  9. "Losing Faythe"
  10. "Whispers On The Wind"
  11. "Hymn Of A Thousand Voices"
  12. "Our New World"
  13. "Power Down"
  14. "Astonishing"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Uinta Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Biere De Mars French-Style Spring Ale
  • Style: Bière de Garde
  • Serving: 22 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Pour: Deep copper, like a caramel apple with a creamy, off-white 1 1/2 finger head that leaves lots of intricate lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is rather soft and mellow, characterized by some toastiness, hops, and fruit ester.  There are toasted malt, leafy hop, and pear aromas along yeast with Chardonnay.
  • Taste: Initially sweet up front with notes of vanilla, pear, apple, and slight caramel malt sweetness, and medium hop bitterness and tartness in the finish and a hint of white pepper.
  • Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is fairly crisp, tart, and refreshing with a rather bitter finish that lingers.
Overall pairing: The epic and massive sound and concept of Dream Theater's "The Astonishing" must be paired with something of equal merit and I believe you will find that in Uinta's lovely new Bière de Garde brew, the Biere De Mars French-Style Spring Ale!  The complex, yet inviting flavors of the Biere De Mars work really well with the overall sound of the album, while those tarter, more bitter notes go well with the darker dystopian themes!


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