Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5th, 2013 - Lunar Monks Or In The Womb Of Westvleteren

Last week's pairing of Pentagram and the Westvleteren 8 got me in the mood for some more doom metal and for some more Trappist ale goodness!  So tonight I'm going with The Obsessed's 1991 sophomore album, "Lunar Womb" and a Westvleteren 12!  Hells yeah!!  Oh, and as with last week's pairing, this one is dedicated to Justin and Laura, and Chad and Stephanie... with a nod to Sean Landis as well!  Cheers to you all!!

Led by guitarist/singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich of Saint Vitus fame, The Obsessed is a (doom) metal, power trio from Maryland.  Along with Wino's other bands, the Obsessed "helped develop and codify doom metal's slow-motion gnash of ponderous tempos, bleary riffs, and vocals growling the language of end times."*  The album cover depicts the 1823 painting Saturn Devouring His Son by Francisco de Goya.  Like the painting, "Lunar Womb" is a dark and methaphycical album with dark imagery coupled with a sonic wall of booming metal.  Bassist Scott Reeder (who also sings lead vocals on "Bardo" and "Back To Zero") along with drummer Greg Rogers create a fantastic rhythm section that perfectly enhance Wino's brilliant guitar work and raspy vocals.  There are elements of Blue Oyster Cult, UFO, Blue Cheer, and Black Sabbath in the music, but with a distint voice and direction.  Completely engrossing, I cannot think of a better album than "Lunar Womb" to pair with the depth of the Westvleteren 12...

Some claim Brouwerij Westvleteren's (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) Westvleteren 12 is the greatest ale in the world.   That's a tough call.  It definitely is a fantastically complex and rich ale, but the best?  Hmmm... maybe.  I'm more of an IPA freak, but the Westvleteren 12 is one of the best beers I've ever tasted!  Anyway, the Westvleteren 12 is a Quadrupel (or a Quad), a Belgian ale of great strength and bold flavor.  It pours a deeply hazy, mahogany red with a thick, 1-2 finger creamy head.  The nose is beautifully rich and complex with notes of dark fruits, toasted malts, burnt toffee, rum, and vanilla along with myriad spices.  As with the nose, the flavor is incredibly rich, multi-layered and deliciously complex.  There are notes of rum-soaked fruit, toasted sweet bread, Tootsie Roll, caramel, and rye bread.  Subtle spices also dance on the tongue: nutmeg, clove, coriander.  Coming in at 10-11% ABV, this is a big boy as well!   Unlike its brother ale (the Westvleteren 8), the Westvleteren 12 has a bit of a boozier kick along with a more bitter hop bite in the finish, which gives it a cleaner feel.

I'm obsessed with the Obsessed and with the Westvleteren 12!  So enough writing... back to rockin' and drinkin'!!  Cheers!


*Wino: Maryland's doom-metal godfather had a pretty good year-for once | Baltimore City Paper (

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