Album: Hospodi
Artist: Batushka
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: Poland

Listen to Dziewiatyj Czas

This album pairs well with The Lost Abbey’s Red Barn.

It can be hard to separate the artist from the art and the only thing worse than American politics is band politics.  Luckily, we have beer to clear our minds of such trivialities.  Instead of reading about the bickering between past and current band members, drink a good beer.  If you still find you mind wandering and taking sides in a dispute that that you have no control over, drink another beer.   Repeat until you can immerse yourself in the music.  Recognize the music as an independent entity worthy of its own judgment. 



Album: Exile
Artist: Black Sites
Genre: Heavy Metal
Origin: Chicago USA

Listen to Dream long dead.

This album pairs well with Manhattan Project’s 6th Floor

When did conspiracy theories become so mainstream?  In the 90’s it was considered ludicrous to talk seriously about UFO’s but now, the fact that our government funded the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program isn’t even considered newsworthy.  I remember when suggesting that big companies are covering up the mass poisoning of entire populations would be laughable, and now we toss around names like Monsanto and DuPont as if it is common knowledge that our health is subject to the corporate overlords.  Do you remember when we were kids and that one weird guy was saying that the NSA was listening to every phone call and reading every email?  We all thought that this line of thinking is what happens when you home school your children.  Yet, it was merely days between the Snowden revelation and our mass acceptance of the surveillance state status quo.

Honestly, this collective disclosure pisses me off.  I got what I always wanted, to be proven right, and it sucks.  No one cares.



Album: Veil Nebula
Artist: Black Vulpine
Genre: Stoner Metal
Origin: Germany

Listen to Limbus.

This album pairs well with Sweetwater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale.

After a long day of slaughtering your enemies on the battlefield, it is good to lean back in your throne, kick your feet up on a pile of skulls, and relax.  Listen to Veil Nebula and pour a couple 420 Extra Pale Ales into your drinking horn.  Even a battle weary warlord needs some R&R.  The sludgy waves of Black Vulpine calm the soul and remind us of our place in the universe.  The Earth is nothing more than a tinny speck floating in the infinite universe.  Billions of worlds hurl through the cosmos… and they are all ripe for conquest.  But that’s tomorrow’s business.  Right now it’s time to recharge and recover from a long day of imposing your will on all of creation. 



Album: Rituals of Power
Artist: Misery Index
Genre: Death Metal
Origin: Baltimore, USA

Listen to Rituals of Power.

This album pairs well with Lagunitas Daytime IPA.

Alcohol and caffeine, it’s an amazing and dangerous combination.  Misery Index have the same effect as a Red Bull or strong coffee.  If you are a few drinks into the afternoon and you find yourself putting on Rituals of Power, it is going to boost your hubris and courage to dangerous levels.  Of course, you’re going to have another drink, but you don’t want to overload the perfect harmony of drunkenness and energy, so have a Lagunitas Daytime IPA.  The hops come through with enough vigor to feel like you are drinking a real beer, but at only 4% ABV it’s not going to drive you into a death spiral.  The best part is that there is no harm in smashing a can, head banging to Rituals of Power, and then popping open another.



Album: The Palms Of Sorrowed Kings
Artist: Obsequiae
Genre: Castle Metal
Origin: Minneapolis, USA

Listen to L’autrier m’en aloie and Ceres in Emerald Streams.

This album pairs well with Hop Tea.

Whether it is for Sober September or Lent, from time to time it’s a good idea to abstain from alcohol to reset your tolerance and ensure that you are not an alcoholic.  A feat this great will test your force of will and make you a stronger adversary.  One indulgence I found to help get through this trial is hop tea.  There are few hop teas on the market, but they are expensive.  However, much like beer, hop tea is something you can make at home.

  1. Put on The Palms Of Sorrowed Kings. This album is perfect to listen to while being productive.
  2. Pull out your drip coffee maker and add 10 cups of water. (Keep in mind, coffee maker “cups” are only 6 ounces, not real cups.)
  3. After inserting a paper filter, add an ounce of your favorite pellet hops. We used Cascade.
  4. Turn on the coffee maker and let it do its job.
  5. Allow the hop extract to cool down before putting it in the fridge for a few hours.
  6. When you are ready for a drink, add 1-2 ounces of the hop extract to soda water, iced tea, tonic water, or lime La Croix. Experiment with other pairings!



Album: Lebensnehmer
Artist: Ellende
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: Austria

Listen to Der Blick Wird Leer.

This album pairs well with Bell’s Arabicadabra.


The reason most MRE’s have instant coffee is not the obvious fact that caffeine can be useful when your soldiers need to be alert.  Armies throughout the world have first strike rations that are rife with caffeinated contents.  The standard MRE has coffee for the small boost to morale that it provides.  When you are staring into the darkness of this world and feeling existential dread brought on by the prospect of dying on the battlefield or just mustering the energy to make it into work one more day, coffee can give you the slightest kick that you need to gird your loins and press forward.  The effect of coffee is more powerful than caffeine alone. 

Few drugs have the ability to give you strength in even the most depressing times.  The machine wants you lethargic.  The powers and principalities want you tired, unquestioning, and falling in line.  Have an Arabicadabra and take up arms against the system marching you to into the grinder.  The easy path is to just get by until you die.  Simply being aware of the horrors of this world isn’t enough.  Sometimes a little morale boost is all you need to stand and deny the system another corpse.  



Album: Cursed to Witness Life
Artist: Worsen
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: North Carolina, USA

Listen to Weakened World.

This album pairs well with Lost Abbey’s Carnevale.

Metal people know that we see the world more clearly.  There have been many studies that both support and refute this concept, but deep down we all know it to be true.  Whether we are talking about Depressive Realism or Dis‐Alienation, it doesn’t matter.  Those who enjoy metal have a more accurate lens though which we view the world.  However, there are still a few who disagree.  Some arguments against this concept start with, “the evidence is not more conclusive because no standard for reality exists…”  And I could not think of a more metal thing to say. 

Everyone is trying to whitewash and sugar coat the real world because they are scared of how they would react if were honest with themselves.  Most people refuse to accept a standard of reality and would rather hide behind what they call “their own truth.”  What non-metal people don’t understand is that viewing the world as it actually is will only be depressing if you aren’t listing to bands like Worsen.  When you recognize that the very nature of reality is imbued with a dark force pressing down on every action we take, it is that much easier to become a great hero of old.  Every choice we make is a fight, every path a battle.  In this fallen world, only the metal-heads are prepared for battle.



Album: Esoteric Oppression
Artist: Moth Gatherer
Genre: Post-Metal
Origin:  Sweden

Listen to The Drone Kingdom.

This album pairs well with Founders CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout.

It’s a poorly documented fact that you can engage in your morning ritual at any time.  It is nothing more than a ceremony that mentally prepares you for the next mission.  A morning ritual is a way to assemble yourself for the upcoming challenges, stress, and achievements in your life.  If you don’t already have a morning ritual, allow me to recommend the following: 

  1. Put on Esoteric Oppression by the Moth Gatherer.  The intro gently builds, forcing your energy levels to do the same.  Before you know it, you will be filled with the feeling of empowerment needed to take on what is to come.
  2. Pour yourself a glass of Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout.  It’s a perfect beer to open if you are lethargic because it benefits from a fast, uncontrolled pour.  Immediately take a large sip. Pause.  At first it is sweet and smooth, but in the 3 seconds that follow a cascade of flavors will start to register.  Take another sip.
  3. Get something to eat.  It can be anything from toasted whole grain bread, slathered with cream cheese, and topped with freshly chopped scallions, to a bowl of chopped up hot dogs and cheddar cheese that is heavily doused with hot sauce. 

Even if you are in a hurry, turn up the music, stop for at least 45 seconds and appreciate the food, drink, and metal.  If you follow this morning ritual, I guarantee that you be successful in your upcoming endeavors.  



Album: When a Shadow is Forced into the Light
Artist: Swallow the Sun
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Origin: Finland

Listen to Firelights.

This album pairs well with St. Bernardus abt 12 Barrel Aged Sour.

There is a wild gravity of the natural world that draws us.  We want to feel connected to eternity.  Go for a walk in the dark on a cold winter night.  The stars so far away, and the trees so close, come together and envelop you in a web of connection that is obscured by the organizations of civilization.  Societies come and go, but the Earth remains.  Being aware of the universe around you isn’t terrifying, it’s comforting.  The planets continue on their orbits and we drink our beer. 





Album: Heaven That Dwells Within
Artist: Wormwitch
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: Vancouver, Canada

Listen to Dancing in the Ashes.

This album pairs well with Dogfishhead 120 Minute IPA.

Wherever you are, be all there, is good advice to keep you focused on those around you.  However, sometimes you need to be alone to be all there.  As an extrovert, this is a hard lesson to learn, but being alone doesn’t always have to be a time to shut down and recharge.  In social situations the layers of consciousness can be obvious.  There is the facade of the person you are talking to and the affectation that you are presenting. You are both fully aware that there is someone else behind the front, but the social contract requires that you don’t acknowledge it.  What’s really hard is to be by yourself and become aware of the different versions of you that coexist.  With Heaven that Dwells Within and a 120 Minute, you can transcend the levels of reality that have been created for yourself.  They are all equally valid, but different.  I can’t think of a better elixir of self-reflection than Wormwitch and strong drink.