Monday, May 28, 2018

May 28th, 2018 - The Technical Ecstasy Of The Nitro Merlin

Good afternoon!  The Meista here on this beautiful Memorial Day getting heavy with a Firestone Nitro Merlin Milk Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Black Sabbath's "Technical Ecstasy"!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Black Sabbath
  • Title: "Technical Ecstasy"
  • Recorded: June 1976 at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida
  • Release date: September 25th, 1976
  • Record company: Vertigo Records
  • Production: Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath
  • Album cover art: Hipgnosis  Of the cover, Storm Thorgerson stated: "We're very fond of that cover. From the title of the piece, Technical Ecstasy, I thought of something ecstatic rather than something technical, and I immediately thought of ecstasy in sexual terms: some sort of mechanical copulation, which would be tricky to do. I then thought of ecstasy as falling in love, perhaps during a brief encounter on an escalator – and, since it was 'technical', I thought of two robots ... It's really quite simple – he's just done curves for the female and hard, angular, macho lines for the male. It's really quite sexist, actually – stereotyped. Anyway, it's love at first sight, but I felt robots wouldn't do it like humans would do it, so instead they're squirting lubricating fluid at one another."
  • Personnel: Geezer Butler (bass guitar), Tony Iommi (guitars), Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), and Bill Ward (drums and lead vocals on "It's Alright")
  • Additional musicians: Gerald "Jezz" Woodroffe (keyboards)
  • Musical style: Hard rock, heavy metal
  • Sound: Departing somewhat from their signature sound, "Technical Ecstasy" is more upbeat and straight-forward rock and roll and radio-friendly.  Although this album takes a lot of hits from critics and fans alike, I think it is a wonderfully complete hard rock album!  It doesn't exactly sound like a Black Sabbath album, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • Major themes: Themes and subject matter on the album include street life, hookers, a transvestite who becomes President of the United States, misogyny, rock and roll, life in America, freedom, etc.
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Back Street Kids"
  2. "You Won't Change Me"
  3. "It's Alright"
  4. "Gypsy"
  5. "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)"
  6. "Rock 'N' Roll Doctor"
  7. "She's Gone"
  8. "Dirty Women"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Firestone Nitro Merlin Milk Stout
  • Style: Milk Stout / Sweet Stout
  • Serving: 12 ounce can
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBUs: 27 
  • Ingredients: Otter, 2-Row Pale, Roast Barley, English Dark Caramel, Medium Caramel, Carafa Malt, Oats (15%) malts, milk sugar (aka) lactose, and 100% US Grown Fuggle Hops
  • Pour: The Nitro Merlin pours a thick and sticky ink black with a thick 1+finger, mocha head that leaves lots of sticky, sudsy lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is rich, creamy, earthy, chocolaty, and malty.  There are big notes of milk chocolate, fresh cream, roasted coffee, rich soil, and caramel. 
  • Taste: The flavor is characterized by big, decadent dark and milk chocolate and roasted coffee notes with some real nice vanilla, marshmallow, and fresh cream.  The finish is dry and chocolaty with just a hint of bitter hops.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low carbonation, the mouthfeel is as the name suggests, very velvety, creamy, and smooth with a dry, bittersweet finish.
Overall pairing: The Firestone Nitro Merlin Milk Stout is a bold, yet very smooth brew... perfect for the heavy hard rock grooves Black Sabbath's wonderful and very underrated "Technical Ecstasy"!  Those chocolatey and earthy notes are great for the heavy bass and drums while the sweet flavors and aromas are perfect for Iommi's masterful guitars and the bitter coffee notes go great with Ozzy's unique vocals!


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