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Vinyl & Hops – Ep. 14 – MASTODON, KHEMMIS & MORE — May 1, 2017

Vinyl & Hops – Ep. 14 – MASTODON, KHEMMIS & MORE

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Vinyl & Hops – Ep. 11 – WAX TAPS — April 11, 2017
We’ve launched a YouTube Channel! — April 6, 2017
My Top 5 September Beers — October 4, 2016

My Top 5 September Beers

Many websites post their “Top Beers to have this fall” or “Top September Beers to have” to generate interest and say “these are the beers you should be on the lookout for”. That’s great and all, but we’re not here selling you something because a distributor or marketing rep is giving us samples and telling us we should write about their beer. These are beers that “Raybeans” has experienced throughout the month that in his personal opinion, were the 5 best beers he’s had. They aren’t all “September” beers, they aren’t all fall beers. They’re just simply the best of what was available during the month.

Karbach – 5th Anniversary Quintuple IPA

The second I heard this beer was announced it was instantly on my Untappd want list. 5 different malts, 5 different yeasts, and 5 different hops brought together in a high alcohol offering from an amazingly successful brewery that I frequent quite often? Yes, please. I wasn’t quite sure what kind of scale we were talking about for this release, so as soon as I saw it at my local Spec’s I went ahead and grabbed some bottles. Luckily, my next trip to Whole Foods for Steak Night saw this on the draft list. Of course I had to get one, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Hoppy, malty goodness without a strong alcohol taste. It’s not listed as technically an IPA, and no one should expect an IPA. Yes, it’s called a “Quintuple IPA”, but it’s almost more of an extra hoppy barleywine than it is a high alcohol IPA. I think the extra malts and sugars give it more backbone than what you would normally expect from a high alcohol IPA, and there is nothing wrong with that. The hops come through strong, but not overly strong. All in all, it’s an extremely well balanced beer for the 12% range it’s in, and does a great job of showcasing everything that we’ve come to expect and love about Karbach in the short time that they’ve exploded on the scene. Now if only they could get back to making Cherries of Fire……..

Deschutes – Black Butte XXVIII

Deschutes did a tap takeover at the local Whole Foods bar on a Thursday night. I didn’t make it out until the Friday night for Steak Night and didn’t expect this beer to still be there, but luckily it was. This was the first beer of the night and one of the best I’ve had all month. The Black Butte series is Deschutes annual release to celebrate their Anniversary. Each year they do something slightly different while barrel aging this beer to give it a different taste. This year they added Cocoa, Vanilla Beans, and Sweet Orange Peel during aging. First reading through that it sounds like it’s going to be overly sweet, but it’s not at all. The barely extra sweetness balanced out amazingly with the harshness that comes from the barrels this beer was aged in. The combination of 11.5% imperial porter that’s been barrel aged and had some extra sweet items added during barreling just helped to make this another yearly success from Deschutes. I am going to be very curious two to three years from now when bottles of this are still floating around. The flavor should mature, the slight harshness be cut some, and the overall flavor profile will most likely be even more balanced than this beer already is.

Odell – The Meddler Oud Bruin

I love it when grocery stores put things on sale because they’ve gone past their “date” when its something like a barrel aged sour beer that is just getting even better with age. The description of this beer mentions the various brown ales that Odell took to create this beer. Mixing them together in some barrels, re-introducing yeast and Lactobacillus meddle (see where they got the name from) and letting it age for over 18 months. I opened this one Friday night when my wife and I were about to start a movie. She got super tired, went to sleep, and I enjoyed this bottle on my own. Man am I glad I didn’t have to share this with anyone. Just slightly sour, but the right amount. Boozy, but not too much. Seeing as it was already barrel aged, and I have no idea how long it had been in the bottle, it came out perfect and was an amazing end cap to an incredibly busy week.

Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA (Draft)

I finally made a trip to Delaware for last Christmas, and sadly, there was no 120 minute available. I’ve been hunting far and wide and was never able to find this mythical beast. Until this spring in Houston when suddenly the Spec’s and HEB in the area had 120 minute available. Being the always excited beer nerd I am, I rushed out to grab a couple of bottles. I immediately drank one, and I’ve been letting one age since. The first one I had was very boozy and extremely sweet. A good beer, but not quite what I had hoped for. Hence, the aging of the other bottle to try to get that boozy sweetness to cut down to a more enjoyable level. Then one night, I’m out with some buddies and Local Pour shockingly had 120 Minute IPA on draft for a very reasonable price of $8.50 a pour. Yes. Pour me one right now. Often times, you hear the debate of draft vs bottle / canned, and more often than not, I don’t care one way or the other. 120 Minute is a completely different experience. Draft was this insanely fresh hop taste with almost no booze flavor to it that created truly one of the best IPA experiences I’ve ever had. Dogfish Head just continues to chug along producing amazing beer after amazing beer as the craft beer super power we have all come to know and love.

Alesmith – Speedway Stout – Vietnamese Coffee Variant
I’m getting more and more familiar with Alesmith as their Texas distribution settles in and I know where and when to expect their beers. As I’ve already mentioned many times, again, this beer was found at Whole Foods. Now, I’ve had the regular Speedway Stout, which is an amazing imperial stout. I’ve had some porters and stouts which are made with coffee, but I think this is by far the best combination I’ve had. Doing research on this beer explains the care and attention that the people at Alesmith take to make a true Vietnamese Coffee variant of one of their flagship beers. If they’re going to take the time and effort to make an imperial stout, then if they’re going to introduce coffee to it, they’re going to take the time and effort to make sure the coffee is as good as the beer itself. Ensuring that the coffee blend is the traditional Vietnamese blend and that the brewing is done in the traditional Vietnamese method. These steps guarantee that the coffee flavor is not only well balanced, but that it’s also true to the source.  

Top 5 Metal Albums you may not have heard…. — September 14, 2016

Top 5 Metal Albums you may not have heard….

In this weeks installment, i’ll be revealing my Top 5 Metal albums you may not have heard. I’ll see if I can remember back far enough to recall how I ended up hearing these bands…

Without further ado…

5. Pathos – Hoverface (1997)

Back in the mid to late 90’s in Western, NY, your options were limited in finding quality metal albums. If you did stumble upon an album, you had to rely on the label the band was on and the album art.

Unfortunately, every album I picked up turned out to be awful. My buddy Jim, on the other hand, would pick up the oddest albums and they’d all end up rocking. Many of them will be included in this list.

Pathos was no exception. I don’t think I would have bought this based on the cover. It did remind me of late 90’s computer graphics programs, so that was cool.

I can’t quite label this band. The songs are just good. It’s very melodic, progressive and even has a power metal feel at time. Check them out below!

4. Hollow – Modern Cathedral (1997)

Well, it looks like 1997 was the year for Progressive/Power Metal acts. Another Swedish act that are clearly influenced by Queensryche and other progressive acts, “Modern Cathedral” is another epic find with some quality tunes. “Hold Your Banners High” will be stuck in your head for weeks. I guarantee it.

3. Mercury Rising – Building Rome (1998)

I can’t recall where I picked this album up. By 1998, I was in college and driving so trips to Cleveland or Toronto for cd’s weren’t out of the question. This is the third Progressive/Power Metal album on the list. I was either really into this genre at the time or there was just a ton of quality bands around writing some of the best metal albums i’ve ever heard. “Building Rome” lies more on the Progessive side of the sprectrum. Fans of ‘Shadow Gallery’ would definitely like this. I still own this album….somewhere. I like it so much that I ordered a copy of Amazon which sadly, may be lost in the mail. Of course there are no decent streams of the album either. If you can get your hands on a copy, I recommend it. In the meantime, check out “Cathedrals”.

2. Winter’s Bane – Heart of A Killer (1993)

“Heart of a Killer” is a traditional metal masterpiece feature Tim “Ripper” Owens prior to joining Judas Priest. I can definitely see what they liked about this guy. These guys hail from Akron, Ohio. I missed out hearing about them since that was a bit early for me, but stumbled on this album later.

Side note, one of my old band’s played with Ripper in Erie, PA at a club called Sherlock’s. I used to love playing there. Anyways, he was in the headlining band which did a ton of covers. I heard him sing Audioslave. It was weird.

I don’t want to make this all about Ripper. The band is amazing. The album is a well written concept album and each song is as good as the last. Pick this one up for sure.

1. The Quite Room – Introspect (1997)

I can’t say enough about this album. They were the opening band for Jag Panzer when I saw them in Ohio in the late 90’s. They were a great live band. Progressive metal at it’s finest. It was definitely on the heavier side but very melodic. I believe they were a Colorado band.

I was standing in line during Record Store Day a couple years ago and randomly sifted through the used metal cd’s. To my disbelief, this album was sitting there. I’d never owned an actual copy, I had a dubbed version that I’d lost years ago.

This album has been in my car ever since and I rarely listen to cd’s anymore but this one is still in regular rotation.

Have you heard any of these albums before? Do you have some that you’d think we’d like here over at LOTD Podcast? Leave us some comments!

Until Next Week…..Goodbye Mailbox.

LotdPodcast’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Metal Albums for the remainder of 2016 — September 7, 2016

LotdPodcast’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Metal Albums for the remainder of 2016

Since we’ll be taking a break this week from the normal podcast format, I figured I’d post my top 5 most anticipated metal albums for the remainder of 2016.   It’s been a pretty good year so far but I think the best is yet to come.   Let’s dive in shall we?

5. Opeth – Sorceress
Release Date – 09.30.2016

While they’re more of a full-on progressive rock band now, I am still looking forward to the latest effort for Opeth.   I thought that ‘Pale Communion’ was slightly worse than ‘Heritage’, so why the excitement you ask?  Well, with the title track, linked below, it appears that they’ve finally found the sweet spot between Progressive Rock and the Opeth riffs you might have found on something like ‘Ghost Reveries’.

4. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
Release Date – 10.7.2016

I’ve had a weird relationship with Meshuggah.   I was first gifted a copy of ‘Chaosphere’ back in 1998 and while I found it extremely heavy, I just didn’t “get it” at the time.   I’ve revisited the album many times over the years and with each spin, I “get it” a little more. They’ve been actively putting out new albums every few years but I haven’t given them much attention aside from the occasional song or two that might come up in a playlist.

Then I heard “Born in Dissonance”…..Wow.  The riffs in this song are just so damn good.  Check it out for yourself.   Let us know what you think.   Are you a fan of “djent” or whatever they call this genre?

3.  In Flames – Battles
Release Date – 11.11.2016

I may be one of the few In Flames fans that really likes 2014’s ‘Siren Charms’.  First off, I’m impressed that they’ve already been able to squeak out a new album so quickly.  ‘Siren Charms’ basically void of Anders’ signature vocal style and the songs didn’t have the heavy melodic harmonies but it’s okay to try something new right?  I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago when I was a 17 year old metal head, but nowadays I like it when bands experiment a bit and change it up.

It looks like they’ve somewhat abandoned the ‘Siren Charms’ sound on ‘Battles’.  The two songs released so far, “The End” & “The Truth” (am I sensing a theme here?) are much heavier in comparison but still doesn’t sound like they’re ready to hop back in the time machine and re-write ‘Whoracle’.   Both songs are somewhat heavy and catchy, with “The End” being the better of the two tracks.    There’s also a chance they’ve employed a group of child backing vocalists but I’ll wait until I hear the rest of the album before confirming.   Check out the two singles below:

2. Hammerfall – Built to Last
Release Date – 11.04.2016

My hopes may be too high to have this at #2 but I just love me some Power Metal.  Hammerfall have kind of fallen off the radar for me since ‘Renegade’ & ‘Crimson Thunder’ mostly due to a string of unforgettable albums that personally are hard to decipher one from the other.   They also tried to hop on the Zombie bandwagon with 2011’s ‘Infected’.  It was uhm…..different.

They returned to form a bit with 2014’s ‘(r)Evolution’ and i’m hoping the trend continues with ‘Built to Last’.  There’s not enough quality Power Metal and I’d love to see these guys live again.   Oddly enough, I saw them open for “Death” on the ‘Sounds of Perseverance’ tour and at the Sweden Rock Festival in 1999.

Check out “The Sacred Vow” from the upcoming album, their first on Napalm Records.   Thoughts?  Let us know in the comments section.

1. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
Release Date – 10.28.2016

Looks like Nuclear Blast is cleaning up here with all these killer releases.   I just saw them at Maryland Deathfest in May and they were so good.

What I didn’t realize, was that both Steve DiGiorgio and Gene Hoglan were on the record.  They are by far my favorite Metal rhythm section.   Gene’s drums on ‘Demonic’ are amazing and the reason why it’s one of my favorite Testament albums.

The single and title track off the album just pummels you from start to finish.  It sounds like Chuck was going for a heavier vocal sound to compliment the blast beats and chugging riffage.   This is going to battle with Megadeth for my album of the year, that’s for sure.

testament

Honorable Mention
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct
Release Date – 11.18.2016

Had to throw an honorable mention in there.   Metallica?  Finally a new album.  Their first since 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’.   I liked that album quite a bit more than I thought I was going to.   Then again, it was up against ‘Load’, ‘Reload’ and ‘St. Anger’ so there wasn’t much competition.

I remember leaving school early to buy ‘Load’.  Sadly, I’d have rather stayed and learned something.  20 years later, I don’t hate it as much as I did when I was 17.   If you listen to the album and pretend it’s some alt-country rock band, it’s even somewhat decent!

Either way, the new single “Hardwired” is thankfully closer to ‘Death Magnetic’ than any of the other albums mentioned above and I’m okay with that.   I did happen to stumble on to a YouTube video where someone took the main riff and played it as if it had been released on the first five albums.   It made me look at the song in a new light.   It actually sounds decent with the “Ride the Lightning” guitar tones.   I’d actually like to see if someone could do the opposite.   Take “Creeping Death” and throw a St. Anger mix on it.  Does it suck now?  Which albums guitar tone is your favorite?

Alright, guys.   That’s it.   Check out the latest podcast episode and please rate us on iTunes if you haven’t.

 

 

 

 

Episode 38 – Show Notes — December 24, 2015

Episode 38 – Show Notes

SPORTS
LeSean McCoy selected to his fourth Pro Bowl

MUSIC
New study shows that people stop listening to new music at 33
JAMES HETFIELD On Making Of METALLICA’s Next Album: ‘As Long As It Takes Is As Long As It Takes’
Where Have All the Angry Mainstream Musicians Gone?
Thy Art Is Murder vocalist leaves band
“The Metal Observer”‘s Top 30 albums of 2015
Michael Jackson’s Thriller Becomes First 30-Times Multi-Platinum Album, Is Still Unbeatable
RIAA – Top 100 Albums – December 22, 2015

RANDOM
Amazon Releases 1st Viewership Measurement: ‘Man in the High Castle’ Most-Streamed
The 12 best iPhone apps of 2015

Coming soon…. — November 19, 2015
What should I write about? — October 26, 2015

What should I write about?

Okay, we’re finally going to start updating this on a regular basis. It’s Rob here, I’ve gained access to the blog and I’m debating a few topics.

There’s a chance I may watch every episode of Saved by The Bell while listening to April Richardson’s “Go Bayside” podcast and then provide commentary.

I’m also horrible when it comes to movies. There are so many i’ve never seen. I could actually start watching them and writing about them.

I like a wide range of topics. I could start sharing those topics/interests with the listeners of the podcast.

What do you wanna see this space used for? Leave a comment and let us know.

Also, episode 29 is out and you should give it a listen.

And rate us on iTunes because right now, i’m the only one and it looks weird.

Talk soon!

Slowly but surely….. — May 4, 2015