Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26th, 2014 - Alice May Be In Hell, But I'm In Hoponius Heaven!

Evenin' my brew and rocker friends!  The Meista here with another heavy one for ya... Annihilator's "Alice In Hell" and an Hoponius Union India Pale Lager (IPL) from Jack's Abby Brewing out of Framingham, Massachusetts!  Hell yeah!!  Oh, and this one goes out to my buddy Jeff Turner... cheers man!!

Released on April 17th, 1989, "Alice In Hell" is the debut album by the very underrated Canadian thrash/speed metal band Annihilator.  Musically speaking, "Alice In Hell" is fast-paced roller coaster ride of technical genius.  Jeff Waters' classical guitar, and lead and rhythm guitar is sonic explosion of intensity, aggression, and beauty.  This blends wonderfully with Anthony Brian Greenham's rich rhythm guitar work, Wayne Darley's thunderous bass, and Ray Hartmann's explosive drummin.  Randy Rampage's vocals are raw and honest (reminiscent of David Wayne's of Metal Church), and infernally delicious.  Songs like "Alison Hell", "Wicked Mystic", "Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade", "Schizos Are Never Alone", and "Human Insecticide" are in-your-face, fast-paced, thrashing classics.  Water's guitar work alone will melt your face, rupture your ear drums, and peel the paint off your walls!  This is intensely powerful shit my friends!  And speaking of intensely powerful...

Combining lager yeast fermentation and West Coast hops, the Hoponius Union IPL is a "wicked hoppy lager" (wicked like "Wicked Mystic") that is brewed like a traditional IPA, but then cold fermented and aged like an American lager.  It pours a beautiful copper-orange with a thin white head leaving minimal lacing.  The nose is a wonderful blend of big citrus/tropical fruit aromas along with bitter and grassy hops and cracker.  There are aromas of pink grapefruit rind, tangerine, lemon, pine, and bready lager yeast.  The taste is characterized by those big hop notes along with more subtle sweet caramel and biscuit notes.  The 6.7% ABV is well-hidden by the abundantly juicy grapefruit, orange, pineapple citrus notes, pine and herbal notes, and grassy hop notes.  The mouthfeel is silky smooth with some oily hop resin.   The finish is dry and crisp and leaves a slight lingering bitterness.  Hands down, the Hoponius Union IPL is one of the best brews to pass through my lips! 

Bang your head... cheers!!

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