It’s that time of year for Darkness Day, the annual party to celebrate the release of Darkness, the worldwide-celebrated Russian imperial stout beer produced in limited quantities by Surly Brewing. It’s held outside at the brewery (4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429) and, of course, is generally the only place to purchase bottles of this highly sought-after beer. Other Surly beers (including limited releases and cask beers) will be available to purchase and drink on-site, and a number of local food trucks will also be there. Full details about the event, including the procedure for purchasing Darkness, are available at the Surly website. The event is free and open to those under 21 accompanied with a parent or guardian, but you will want to bring cash for food and beer.
There’s also a fantastic lineup of local metal bands playing in the afternoon, and headlining will be Powermad, the sorely overlooked speed/thrash metal band that released an EP through Combat Records and an outstanding EP and album, Absolute Power, through Reprise in the late 80s. What I did not know is that Surly’s head brewer and mastermind, Todd Haug, is the guitarist of Powermad.
Watch the video for "Nice Dreams" from Absolute Power.
I recently spoke with Todd to get all the details about the bands playing at Darkness Day. It was a wide-ranging interview that also covered details of the new Powermad album that is currently being mastered for release next year and his incredible journey from metal to brewing beer. Look for the full interview to be published here soon – Todd’s story and his rise to the upper echelons of the craft brewing business are remarkable! Along with the expected older material, Powermad will also be performing two new songs, “Souls Descending” and “Hypocrite”, from the upcoming album. One of the songs, “Souls Descending”, was released through the Powermad website last year and is still available for free download. Have a listen and check out the video for “Souls Descending”:
The other bands playing at Darkness Day are Profound Lore recording artist Wolvhammer, We Are Legion, and God Came From Space. Each band will be playing an hour-long set with God Came From Space starting at 11:00 am, We Are Legion at 1:00 pm, Wolvhammer at 3:00 pm, and Powermad wrapping up the day at 5:00 pm. The bands will be playing outside this year, as there’s no more room inside the brewery to accommodate a stage.If you’re a Surly devotee, you know that you should arrive early before the grounds open at 11:00 am. Be sure, though, to stick around in the afternoon for a great day of metal bands.