Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14th, 2016 - Morrigan, The Petit Verdot Sorceress

God kväll!  The Meista here getting heavy with the brand new album from Swedish "Sorceress" and the Morrigan Imperial Stout (Petit Verdot Reserve) from Barbarian Brewing Company!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Opeth
  • Title: "Sorceress"
  • Recorded: 2016 at Rockfield Studios in Wales, U.K.
  • Release date: September 30th, 2016 (12th studio album by Opeth) (1969-04-16)
  • Record company: Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast
  • Production: Tom Dalgety and  Mikael Åkerfeldt
  • Album cover art: Travis Smith
  • Personnel: Mikael Åkerfeldt (vocals and guitar), Fredrik Åkesson (guitar and backing vocals), Martin Axenrot (drums and percussion), Martín Méndez (bass guitar), Joakim Svalberg (piano, keyboards, and backing vocals)
  • Additional musicians: Wil Malone (string arrangements) and Pascale Marie Vickery (spoken words on "Persephone" and "Persephone (Slight Return)")
  • Musical style: Progressive rock, progressive metal, hard rock
  • Sound: Paying homage to bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, ELP, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, the sound on Opeth's latest album is bold, bombastic, and heavy.  As always with Opeth, the musicianship is wonderful... richly textured, imaginative, and compelling.  Åkerfeldt's vocals are warm, honest, and powerful.  Sorceress is, in a word, brilliant!
  • Major themes: Mythology, magic, sorcery, pagan rites, greed, deception, fate, evil, darkness, etc.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "Persephone"
  2. "Sorceress"
  3. "The Wilde Flowers"
  4. "Will O The Wisp"
  5. "Chrysalis"
  6. "Sorceress 2"
  7. "The Seventh Sojourn"
  8. "Strange Brew"
  9. "A Fleeting Glance"
  10. "Era"
  11. "Persephone (Slight Return)" 

Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Barbarian Brewing Company (Garden City, Idaho)
  • Website:   
  • Brew: The Morrigan Imperial Stout (Petit Verdot Reserve)
  • Style: American Double / Imperial Stout 
  • Serving: 25 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 12.0%
  • Pour: The Morrigan pours an opaque, ink black with a very frothy and soapy mocha head with great sustain and sticky intricate lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is earthy, chocolatey, roasty, floral, and fruity.  There are aromas of baker's bittersweet dark chocolate, dark red wine, dark fruits (black cherries and plums), oak, very light coffee, and floral soap. 
  • Taste: The taste is sweet, chocolatey, fruity, and astringent (rather odd for a stout).  There are notes of chocolate covered cherries, dark red wine, molasses, semisweet dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, roasted malts, and a little booze.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low carbonation, the mouthfeel of the Morrigan is creamy, velvety, sticky, smooth and rather dry with a sharp, dry finish.
  • Notes: "The Morrigan is a Celtic goddess that embodies death, war, and fate. She would inspire courage in the hearts of warriors as they charged into battle. We think our imperial stouts hold that kind of power, too. Black as the Lady’s raven form, seductive and ferocious as their namesake, we present two variations of barrel aging.  Our second variant was aged in Petit Verdot barrels for five months, as well. An earthiness and black pepper comes through on the nose, followed by notes of dark fruits and baking spices. Dry and lightly bitter, like a semisweet chocolate, our Reserve enhances the base recipe of our imperial stout with rich tannins and a satisfying molasses mouthfeel."

Overall pairing: Along with the themes of Opeth's "Sorceress" and the name of the brew (Morrigan Imperial Stout) and the mythology surrounding that, the pairing is quite perfect in my opinion.  The wonderfully original and robust brew from the fine folks at Barbarian Brewing Company is a great bedfellow to the boldness, richness, and intricacies of Opeth's latest musical journey! 

Helan går!!  Skål!!

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