I founded Adustum back in the spring of 2007, after some failing first band experiences, as a project that would serve to musically channel my more personal esoteric/religious interests, convictions & experiences, without having to deal with the input of others. In its essence it would be best described as a musical manifestation of a humble vessel’s study,(re)search and practice in selected Left Hand Path currents, crafting a wayward current/system of its own, namely Ophidian Adversarialism.
Originally called Empyrean Arcana, a friend of mine from the USA would found Bestia Arcana around the same time, so I deemed my own working title too similar (and not fulfilling enough), and finally came to the verb Adustum quite early on, which far better captured/suited my project’s essence.
At first it all started off rather slowly and very unorganized, but when the writing, composing and organizing of riffs was already in somewhat of an advanced state, an old friend (and inventive guitarist), rV, from my first band, joined the ranks to add more depth and layers to the whole, and fruitful rehearsals would ensue. A considerable amount of time later, when most of the songs for Adustum‘s first album were nearly finished and very roughly recorded, we would go our separate ways, due to some temporary artistic differences.
With the roughly recorded track list on hand, I went to look for someone else to assist me in their transition to ready-to-release, professional sounding sermons, which brought me to a then more recent friend, IV, a marvel on both bass & guitars. He and I went to work rather quickly and productively in the period that followed, to prepare the tracks for studio-recordings.
The hunt for a skillful and professional battery was the next mission. A mission that was quickly accomplished when we found our skillful percussionist, KdL; and with a full recording line-up, we started our final stride towards the recording-studio, through collective rehearsals.
In the spring of 2010 we were ready to record our first album Searing Fires and Lucid Visions. KdL‘s drums would be recorded and premixed by R. Schenk in West-Flanders’ Shumcot, and all the rest would be handled by J. Bezier at Blackout (Multimedia) Studio in Brussels.
Conclave & conquest
Through some perseverance, I was able to get through to one of my very few preferred labels, World Terror Committee Productions – Germany, to release this first offering, and it did so, on Samhain 2011. As such, it was distributed across quite a large hinterland, and received with varying positive reactions/reviews, and some interest pieces by underground heralds. A few years later, in 2014, English underground label Exitium Productions would release a pro-tape version of our debut album.
Regretfully, in a short period of time Searing Fires and Lucid Visions seemed to get lost in the maelstrom of a black metal scene that had fallen victim to trend(ines)s, poppy fads & pre-hipster culture, where veritably humble and authentic output would too often get pushed into obscurity by bigger more financially- and propaganda-strong labels; and bands with rock-star aspirations and a lot of whistles and bells to them, but lacking any sort of integrity or authentic content.
It is at this point that my desire to start a movement that would oppose and depose this wretchedness was rekindled, and I re-conceived The Element Order. This turned out to be a failed attempt at an international collective of sincere and authentic artists/musicians that would oppose this new aura of tolerance-for-all that was taking over black metal. Later, after rethinking the concept, and making it a less international and more local and personal initiative, I re-baptized it the Toxandrian Esoteric Offensive, and it is now the overlapping entity that manages Adustum, and all my other current and future artistic outlets, with the possibility of comrade’s projects/bands/outlets being added in the future, should they want to, and I deem their work compatible with the ideology of the movement/organization.
During this time Adustum was offered a marvelous opportunity to take part of a release that could have changed our future and outreach a lot. To be part of a multi-split/compilation, that would consist of all-exclusive tracks from other bands such as Nightbringer, Mortuus, Ofermod, Serpent Noir, Dodsengel, Flagellant, and many others. Sadly, this release would never see the light of day, due to ongoing issues/delays with the visual-artists and label involved. It was cancelled after a good five years worth of delays and waiting with insufficient progress.
This meant that the exclusive track, that we had recorded in the early summer of 2012, for this offering, named Drakon Sovereign Supreme (The Ordinance of the Entangled Black Pyramids), remained in the shadows, and patience for another exclusive release format to manifest was far gone, resulting in a digital release through bandcamp on February 24t – 2017. However, it wasn’t all due to the delays and waiting for this eventually cancelled compilation, that no more material has been released to date. During this time, IV & myself were dealing with our own non-musical priorities and other interests as well, which kept us occupied enough to slow down any rapid new progress with the band.
But, at long last, five and a half years after our first release, we had new material out – a beast that had been ravenously hungering to be released for over half a decade – a single with a playtime just under 8 minutes, representing another step into my own wayward process, dispersing more depth and maturity than before, and a great prologue of things in the making.
A decade in the making
I only realized per accident that it has been ten years already, since this journey began. I admit it has seen far less output than many of my contemporary bands/artists’, but this is due to my (extremely) lengthy process, need for a certain mood to strike me when composing and writing new material, and general non-musical priorities and hassles that come up (too often) along the way.
Currently however, with rV. having rejoined us in early 2016, and all our lives permitting us to spend more time on our art again, we are slowly but steadily working on our next album, but I am realistic and cautious with any further statements on the matter. I hope the evolution of this new offering will continue gradually and as organically as possible, without any stress for time or deadlines, and just have it manifest as rites deliver upon us, and the right compositions are found to express them.
Today, Adustum is:
- Ïal Lehmti I’Riv – guitars, composition & arrangements, compiling and writing sermons & performing vocals
- IV – guitars & bass, composition & arrangements
- rV. – guitars, composition & arrangements
- KdL – drums & percussion
These are the verbs that give a brief representation of Adustum‘s last ten years and current standings. The future is yet untold, and I/we will divulge more in due time.
Ïal Lehmti I’Riv