Hello and happy Friday! Your drinking buddy the Meista here starting the weekend off right with a pairing of the Gathering's "The West Pole" and a Litha Saison from Proper Brewing Company!
- Artist: The Gathering
- Title: "The West Pole"
- Recorded: 2008
- Release date: May 12th, 2009 (9th studio album by the Gathering) (1969-04-16)
- Record company: Psychonaut Records
- Production: René Rutten
- Album cover art: René Rutten
- Personnel: Frank Boeijen (keyboards, piano, harmonium, and vibraphone), Marjolein Kooijman (bass guitar), Hans Rutten (drums and percussion), René Rutten (electric and acoustic guitars, and stylophone), and Silje Wergeland (vocals and grand piano)
- Additional musicians: Marcela Bovio (vocals on track 8), Marije de Jong and Jonas Pap (narrative on track 4), John Mitchell (cello on tracks 3, 4, 5 and 8), Jos van den Dungen (violin and viola on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8), and Anne van den Hoogen (vocals on track 6, megaphone nonsense on track 1, and megaphone backing vocals on track 2)
- Musical style: Progressive rock, progressive metal, shoegazing, indie rock, alternative rock
- Sound: The sound on "The West Pole" is haunting, beautiful, mesmerizing, and full of artistic and emotional integrity. Wergeland's vocals remind me a bit of Tori Amos, but with a more ethereal element. Of the album's sound, Hans Rutten stated in 2008, "It will be a very extravert, rock orientated, alive album. Typically the Gathering, but with many new elements. This time it's absolutely guitar driven. For sure."
- Major themes: Relationships, love, loss, desire, introspection, betrayal, hope, etc.
- "When Trust Becomes Sound"
- "All You Are"
- "The West Pole"
- "No Bird Call"
- "Capital Of Where"
- "You Promised Me A Symphony"
- "Pale Traces"
- "No One Spoke"
- "A Constant Run"
- Brewery: Proper Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Website: properbrewingco.com
- Brew: Litha Saison
- Style: Imperial Saison Ale / Farmhouse Ale
- Serving: 22 ounce bottle
- ABV: 8.4%
- IBUs: 60
- Ingredients: "Rustic grains like rye and oats and mixture of American hops" and farmhouse yeast.
- Pour: The Litha pours a candied apricot golden amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly leaving only traces of bubbly lacing.
- Nose: The nose is characterized by estery fruit, spices, and funk, there are aromas of soft banana, oranges, lemon zest, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, and a bit of barnyard funk.
- Taste: The taste is fruity, spicy, malty, and slightly funky. There are notes of orange and lemon juice and zest, nutmeg, black peppery, husky grains, leather, and tart funk.
- Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is with a dry, peppery, and slightly boozy finish.
Overall pairing: The complex, yet inviting flavors of Proper's Litha Saison is perfect for the mesmerizing, beautiful, and emotional vocals of Wergeland and the musical depth of Dutch band the Gathering! Both the album and the beer grab you immediately and demand your full attention from the first notes to the last!