Budějovický Budvar – Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar) Original

czechvar can

Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar outside of the US) is the original Budweiser beer whose demonymic name Adolphus Busch appropriated for his green apple tasting adjunct lager omni consumer product in the 19th century. Czechvar and Pilsner Urquell were the two beers the communist government of Czechoslovakia chose to export to increase foreign currency reserves. Unlike Pilsner Urquell, Czechvar‘s production was modernized after World War II despite the recipe remaining largely the same an Budějovický Budvar was not privatized after the fall and failure of communism, still remaining an asset of the Czech Ministry of Agriculture. This means that that Czechvar/Budvar remains largely the same as it was decades ago, having kept its distinctive yeast strain, exclusive use of whole-cone Saaz hops, and ninety day lagering period in in comparison to SABMiller slightly genericizing Pilsner Urquell in order to stock it on the import shelf every deli and bodega the world over to compete with the likes of Beck’s, Heineken, and St. Pauli Girl.

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Sorcier des Glaces / Ende – Le puits des morts (2016)

sorcier des glace and monarque - Le puits des morts

Le puits des morts is a split album featuring Sorcier des Glaces and French black metal band Ende. On the first side, Sorcier des Glaces present four all new songs in their distinctive style of epic black metal continuing from their last few albums (including North from earlier in 2016) after the band’s abandoning of keyboards.

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“C” Is For Average

c_is_for_average

Metal was born of the fusion of heavy rock, horror music, progressive rock and the nascent proto-punk movement. The history of rock is the history of rebellion and rule-breaking: from Friedrich Liszt making his strings break live at key moments on purpose, to Jerry Lee Lewis lighting the piano on fire, to the Beatles with their hairstyles and jackets which were radical for the time, to the Doors being suggestive on the Ed Sullivan show, through Hendrix burning his guitar, to Kiss being super-sexual and painting their faces, to Black Sabbath who sang about Satan and magic, to Metallica who combined neoclassical with thrash and had a hard-partying image, to Slayer’s seemingly outright Satanism. Metal is about taking things one step further, breaking the rules and being unique. Not about following them.

Good music aims for a grade of “A” by experimenting and breaking the rules, but in doing so, takes the chance that it will get an “F.” Think of good music as Icarus: he flies toward the Heavens (or in the case of metal: towards hell) aware he is taking a big chance. He may well crash and burn to the ground in pursuit of his musical ideals. It’s a risk Icarus is willing to take.

Today we have way, way too many bands following all the rules of their genre, and not enough acts pressing ahead. When I look at my local scene it is clear that the bands who have stayed together a long while, while following the rules of their genre, are the bands who have been most successful. Most of these bands have decent music and are listenable. But its not stuff I want to listen to more than once, or see live more than once. This is the curse of local bands: competent, good at following trends, but not so good that they break out and become emblematic of those trends.

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Innsmouth – Consumed by the Elder Sign (2014)

innsmouth - consumed by the elder sign

Innsmouth play primitive blackened death metal in the vein of Darkthrone‘s A Blaze in the Northern Sky with the addition of several other metal riffing styles to the three chord hardcore Hellhammerisms. Consumed by the Elder Sign attempts to build an atmosphere resembling the terror and corruption of Lovecraftian Elder Gods through atmosphere, production, and samples that often come across as comically charming rather than haunting; cries of hatching star spawn sound like baby dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.

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