Bloodstock Open Air 2013

I don’t usually post about events that I have absolutely no way of attending, but this one is too awesome not to mention.

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It’s the annual Bloodstock Open Air Festival, which takes place in Derby, UK August 8-11 at Catton Park. I found out what it was through the Wychwood Brewery website, who offered a contest for bands to get a spot onto the festival. They also have the most badass shirts for the fest. Hobgoblins are incredibly metal, after all.

Aside from having the best name ever of a metal festival, the lineup is also incredible. The headliners for the three nights are King Diamond, Lamb Of God, and Slayer, respectively. Some of my other favorites include Gojira, Anthrax, Municipal Waste, Exodus, and DevilDriver. You can check out the extensive, full lineup here.

I especially like that the biggest stages aren’t named for corporate sponsors. The main stage is appropriately titled “The Ronnie James Dio Stage”, and the other bigger stage is named after Sophie Lancaster, a girl who was attacked, basically for dressing like any other average metalhead, and murdered in 2007. There is also a “New Blood” stage for up-and-coming metal bands to perform on, which is where Skreamer, the winner of the Wychwood competition, will be performing. Another awesome part? All the bands invited to play on the New Blood stage also get a shot at playing Germany’s Wacken Open Air and Slovenia’s Metal Camp, since they are partners with Bloodstock. How cool is that if you’re a new metal band from the UK?

It’s almost like it’s a festival with a heart, as strange as that is to write. Plus, the ticket prices honestly aren’t that extravagant for what you’re getting. A weekend pass, which includes camping and runs from Thursday-Sunday, is 125 Euros, or about $164 American. If I could make it to England for a weekend, I’d absolutely be there. If you have a flexible job and money to spare, definitely hit up Bloodstock Open Air this year.

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99 Bottles Of Metal

And now for a completely ridiculous idea. I just discovered via MetalSucks that the guys from Fulgora and Cattle Decapitation will be in a collaboration with a total of 99 metal bands to record, what else, “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall”.

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Here’s a (very partial) list of the bands involved:

Cannibal Corpse
Dying Fetus
Suffocation
Devourment
Misery Index
Fulgora
Cattle Decapitation
Cryptopsy
Cerebral Bore
Decrepit Birth
Unmerciful
Putrid Pile
Insidious Decrepancy
Cephalic Carnage
Murder Construct

Judging by the partial list, this might just be the most brutal version of the song the world has ever heard.

John Jarvis of Fulgora states that the project will be done by the end of summer. Not sure how they’ll get all those different tracks mixed together, but it’ll certainly be quite an experience for the recording engineer working on it. The song will appear on a b-side to an EP from Cattle Decapitation’s Derek Engemann’
s side project, The Houndz, appropriately titled the Boozehoundz EP.

‘Ale Of Winters’: The Sword Is Getting A Beer!

Adding to the constantly growing list of awesome bands collaborating with breweries, we now have the Sword!

The beer, brewed by the Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco, TX, will be called Iron Swan, and perfect for summer, served up in cans.

No news about what style of ale the brew will be or when it comes out officially, but I’ll be on the lookout for sure when it does. The label looks totally badass, between the swans, swords, and massive ship.

I am especially excited for this one as the Sword is one of my favorite bands right now. You can check out my review of their most recent release, Apocryphon, here.

Vlad the ImpALEr: GWAR To Release Beer

I have to say, I’m more than okay with all the metal and beer collaborations going on in the world today. Now another one of my favorites is jumping into the scene, and all I can say is it’s about time. According to American Craft Beer.com, GWAR and Cigar City Brewing will be teaming up to create the Impaled Ale, no doubt named for their song “Vlad The Impaler”. The beer is set to be released just in time for the GWAR-BQ, the band’s annual summer party in their hometown of Richmond, VA.

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Frontman David Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, says “Once again, we blow the horn of war and set into motion the gears that grind us towards the greatest GWAR B-Q yet; We will be shoving a wealth of GWAR products down your throat… not only our new GWAR B-Q sauce, but our very own beer, Impaled Ale. Eat and drink yourself into a diabetic stupor, then puke it all up in the slam pit!”

This year’s GWAR-B-Q lineup features Corrosion of Conformity, Municipal Waste, and Pig Destroyer (who incidentally, also all have beers named for them), as well as Cannibis Corpse and plenty of special guests.

If that doesn’t sound like the party of the summer, I don’t know what is.

I have yet to see any reviews or details of what the beer will taste like. I’ve had Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA, which was delicious, and I’ve tasted the wrath of Oderus Urungus’ fake blood and guts live in person before, so I can only imagine that the Impaled Ale will be some sort of combination of both of these. Check out a live video for Vlad below, and get tickets for the GWAR B-Q starting June 6 here.

Now Beer/Hear This: PODCAST

One of my favorite parts of college was working at the radio station, and I miss DJing a lot. So I was absolutely thrilled when my friend Noah asked me to assist him with a podcast for Metal Sucks. The popular metal blog is looking for people to take over their podcast. I was happy to oblige with producing and recording one with Noah, who shares a similar awesome taste in music, especially metal.

We chose tracks from two bands we are equally excited about right now, Coliseum and Kvelertak. We even did a beer pairing- with New England Brewing’s 668 Belgian golden ale. Check it out here!

This is just a pilot, so it’s quite short. However, I’d love to do it more often, regardless if we get a gig at Metal Sucks or if it’s just a segment on here.

Now Metal This: 3 Floyds Dark Lord Day

I was featured on Metal Insider once again with some more fermented musings, this time about 3Floyds Dark Lord Day! You can check it out here!

Unfortunately I was unable to travel to Dark Lord Day 2013. For those unfamiliar, Dark Lord Day is the only day that you can purchase 3Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Awesome bands play (this year was headlined by High On Fire), and it’s generally an awesome time. Luckily you can find some pictures here, and if you any friends in Indiana, perhaps they can share some of their Dark Lord with you.

REVIEW: Volbeat “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies”/Shiner Bock

Volbeat comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, but I think their sound is straight out of a Texas rockabilly bar, with some very metal guitar work. Makes sense, since former Anthrax member Rob Caggiano is now in the band and produced their latest record.

THE RECORD: Volbeat Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies 2013 Universal

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I think this record definitely has appeal with a variety of music lovers, from punk rockers to metal heads, even Metallica, whom the band opened for when they came to Denmark a few years ago.

“Room 24” is probably one of the heaviest tracks on the record. As it should, since it features vocals from King Diamond. The guitar work is absolutely face-melting on this one and the drums sound like a stampede. However, a few songs later is a surprising cover of Young the Giant’s “My Body”. Even if you’re not into the original, Volbeat’s version is pretty awesome. Michael Poulsen’s soaring vocals take this cover to a different, heavier level that rocks pretty hard.

“Lonesome Rider” is a total rockabilly treat, and features vocals from English singer-songwriter Sarah Blackwood. The contrasting male-female vocals work really well in this song, and kind of exemplify the title of the album.

“Doc Holliday” similarly starts off with a western-swing-sounding guitar that gives it a folk vibe, but then they turn up the badass a bit and it gets a lot heavier.

All the punk rock hooks give each of the tracks a certain catchiness and make Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies an incredibly fun record.

THE BREW: Shiner Bock- Spoetzl Brewery- Shiner, TX

I’ve heard a lot of reviews of this beer which say it’s overrated, but I disagree. It’s not trying to be anything crazy, it’s just a simple, good-tasting bock that’s available all year round. For a bock, it’s fairly light in color. Some sweetness, a little bit of caramel. A light head when you pour it into a glass that doesn’t linger too long. Certainly not as heavy as the classic German bocks, but then again, you can’t necessarily drink 3 or 4 of them in a row comfortably either.

THE PAIRING: This album calls for an easy to drink and easily accessible beer. Shiner Bock isn’t outstanding, but it’s definitely easy to find depending on what state you’re in, and certainly easy to drink. With a 4.4% ABV, it’s a session beer that you can have a few of if you’re seeing Volbeat live or listening to the album a couple times.

Pig Destroyer Beer to Destroy Palates

There are a lot of awesome bands have their own craft beer. I mean, now that even Iron Maiden has the Trooper Ale, where do you go from there? That said, making beer is pretty much the most metal thing you can do outside of making music. And 3Floyds Brewing Company of Indiana is as metal as craft brew gets. They actually have a Dark Lord Day on April 27, which is the only day their coveted Dark Lord Imperial Stout can be purchased, and is celebrated with copious amounts of alcohol and live music. Awesome, right?

Their latest beer release is a collaboration with Pig Destroyer, a little deliciousness called Permanent Funeral, named after the track on their most recent record Book Burner. Their label, Relapse, posted the photo below on their Facebook:

It’s a pale ale, but it looks like it packs a wallop, especially with a 10.5 ABV.The label reads, “the wolf inside this pale ale is trying to walk upright”. I can only assume that this means I’m going to have more than a little trouble walking upright after I drink a few of these.

REVIEW: Heavy Breath “Muddy Life” [EP]/New England Brewing Imperial Stout Trooper

One of my jobs in the music industry is a live audio engineer at a few different venues around Connecticut. So I see a lot of local acts on a regular basis. Although I have a certain amount of respect for all my local musicians, there are a few bands that are just so incredibly awesome that I really look forward to seeing. Heavy Breath is one of them. I was introduced to them last year when they opened for Old Man Gloom at the Space in Hamden, CT. They recently released an EP titled Muddy Life, which will be coming out on a 12-inch this spring on Battle Stag Records and is available now on their bandcamp page.

THE RECORD: Heavy Breath Muddy Life Battle Stag Records

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With a name like Muddy Life, I was expecting slow sludge, but I think a truer description would be a roundhouse kick to the gut. I like the contrast between the screams and the more melodic vocals on “Chekhov’s Bomb”, a track that also name checks the album title (“Complacency is enemy because this is Chekhov’s bomb/It’s a muddy life”).

“Be The Prometheus” is my favorite track of the three. It’s got those fast, punk rock drums with heavy, slower guitar riffs in between that I totally dig.

and of course, as someone who works in sound on a regular basis, I think the mix is well done on all of these tracks. Sometimes sludgy guitars get lost in a mix but all the instrumentation is heard really clearly and well-balanced.

Even the artwork is awesome- I am a big fan of vikings, so the combination of a horned helmet and a battle axe make for an awesome cover. I was told that it’s actually a screencap from the most recent season of Dexter, so I don’t know if that’s what’s going to be on the cover of the physical album. If it’s not, I hope there horns involved regardless.

My only negative thing to say is that there’s only 3 tracks. They totally leave me wanting more. I guess I’ll have to check them out live again, because Heavy Breath is a band that needs to be cranked up and rocked out to.

THE BREW: Imperial Stout Trooper- New England Brewing Co.- New Haven, CT

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I’m definitely a lover of stouts. They are my favorite beer style and although I enjoy plenty of them, the Imperial Stout Trooper is my favorite. It’s made right in my home of New Haven, CT AND the name is a Star Wars reference. What’s not to love? But even if it was made somewhere else and wasn’t Star Wars-related, it’s a great example of the stout style. The color is almost black, with a thin tawny head. Aromas of sweet milk chocolate, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It’s great aged, or cask-conditioned in bourbon barrels.

THE PAIRING: I try to pair local bands with local brews whenever possible. This in-your-face EP needed a big beer to drink with it. Nebco’s Stout Trooper, like Heavy Breath’s music, is massive, but it goes down easy. Delicious on the ears and palate. Some stouts are tasty but sometimes too intense and difficult to drink. Kind of like some hardcore and metal bands. Heavy Breath’s music has a lot going on with it, but one of those qualities is a sort of punk rock sensibility that draws you in immediately. I would probably drink this beer either before or after seeing this band live, but not during because I wouldn’t want to pit it out with a tulip glass in my hand. And let’s be honest, this isn’t a band you’re going to watch live and stand still for.

Now Beer This: Honorary Metal Insider

Here at Now Beer This, we have an appreciation for all genres of music. But some garner a greater appreciation than others- especially metal. So it was an honor to have some of my malted musings featured in MetalInsider this past week!

North Carolina’s Corrosion of Conformity are coming back with a lot of great stuff lately. Last year they released their first album in 7 years and have playing shows in support of it. Georgia brewing companies Burnt Hickory and Anderson Bros. have decided to show their love for the band in what I think is the most complimentary way; making a beer named for them.

Read more about the Corrosion of Conformity imperial raisin porter here.