ADUSTUM – Searing Fires and Lucid Visions (reviews)

REVIEW 1 (ENGLISH) by Currentzz, for Currentzz (posted 01.12.2011)


It’s not often Belgian Black Metal makes it way over here, pretty rare, actually. On the top of my head there’s not a lot of it I remember, Ancient Rites, Enthroned, Lugubrum, Plaag and that’s about it. Perhaps my memory fails me now when the time for sleep draws nearer, but I am sure someone will help me remember later.

This is Adustum’s first release. Ever. As far as I know. Jumping straight into the deep end of the pool and going straight for the debut album can be a tricky deal. It’s easy to crash and burn. Then again, perhaps the members of Adustum have already gone down that path, proven themselves in another bands with countless demos and whatnot. Perhaps the band is the re-incarnation of another well-known project, the Phoenix rising from the ashes. I will not speculate to far here, I do like the lack of information here a bit, you’re out there with the music and the product and that’s it, and should be enough, really.

Enough with the speculations, already! It’s time to talk a bit about the product itself, “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions”. After having soaked myself in it for the last couple of days I would say that this is the best thing I’ve heard from Belgium, when it comes to Black Metal, in a long time. Perhaps ever. There’s something here that’s especially pleasing to these ears. It’s well done, it shows talent, potential and experience. Let’s not forget that vibe of religious intoxication I get that’s especially pleasing. Razor sharp guitars and bass, varied vocals that intensify the listening experience and then there’s the drums. There’s nothing wrong with the drums as such… I don’t know, in the world of the living, the drumsound is the dying. Like “Thy Mighty Contract” so must “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions” suffer. Another minus I would like to mention is the booklet. Well, the panels, it’s a digi-pack. I found it impossible to read the lyrics because the red on the black is just too dark, and I think that’s a bad thing because in many cases the lyrics add a lot to the music, the experience and the connection you form with songs.

Even for these faults, which are small in that grand scheme of things, I do think this is the best thing to come out of Belgium in a long time and one of the best debuts that I’ve heard. There’s a lot of intensity to be found here. Check out the song below, which is the opening act of the album, I am sure it will place it’s hook in you like it did in me.

REVIEW 2 (ENGLISH) by Ankit, for Infernal Dominion (posted 30.03.2012)

“Searing Fires and Lucid VIsions” is the debut offering by this relatively new and obscure Belgian black metal horde called ‘Adustum’. It was released by the infamous World Terror Committe during October 2011. My first experience with their music was through a sample which I had heard through some thread on NWN! forums last year and it had certainly appealed me. A few months later, I received the promo CD for an extensive review and that really made me curious about the adversarial currents which this young horde had to offer through their craft. Adustum is latin for “set fire, light, kindle” etc. and the name really suits the Qlipothic energies which this album has channeled through its sonic rituals. The opus begins with the splendid ”V.O.H.I.R. – Exvocatium Daemonicus” which is a hymn meant to conjure the inner daemon within your spiritual embodiment. This ritual’s verses have been conjured in an allegorical manner and a profound study of them indicates that they are directing towards creating your own daemon through ritual invocation.

“ÏAÏ Daemon!
Salutifer – you are me!
Daemon – I am you!
Entwined become, many and none.

Symbiotic releaver, you’ve shown me to the way to extatic liberation.
Khaotic redeemer, I now cast you back from this shell into thy haven.”

The second hymn on the opus ”Ravenous Copulation Upon Her Altar of Catamenia” is another interesting tale about a malignant copulation with the serpent, the harlot, the aduletrous woman – Reshut ha-Rabbim to obtain wisdom and power.

“Uttering the names of Damnation.
Eating Her cunt of red pettles.
Moaning those verbs of coronation,
when devoured by Her emanation.
Furosiosly devouring her body,
submerged in the ashes of Reshut ha-Rabbim.

Drowning Her in semen, thus closing the circle,
Nine others, are revealed.
And you, my whore, are worshipped & revered.”

The third hymn “The Eulogy of One Through Three Times Three” is perhaps the most allegorical and lengthiest one on the opus, clocking around 11 minutes. Apparently it delves deeper into the metaphysical gardens of the Qlipoth and talks about the Kelipah and Choronzon. These lyrics are open to interpretation and followers of the Qliphotic Qabalah would probably comprehend its essence.

“I see now the bends and amends of Choronzon as my guide.
To devour your harnessed slither and partake of limitless strenghth there in.
Disposing of feeble skin and awakening the Beast of Sin.”

Finally the grand opus comes to and end with the final hymn “Psalm CLVI – The Rites of Lunar Blood” which is a ritual to invoke Babalon – The Scarlet Woman, The Great Mother, or the Mother of Abominations. It is my favorite and perhaps the best creation on “Searing Fires..”. This hymn clocks around 9 minutes and includes some impressive ritualistic percussion, over exotic and almost oriental sounding guitar rhythms; hence enriching the esoteric atmsophere on the opus.

“From the remnants of the Fallen Empire of Two Streams, under Crescent Moon, you are the unquenchable Star of Aeons and Temptress of all who wander freely and obsessively for Your Wisdom, Magick and Perfection, as an Envoy of Therion, and Guardian of Venus.”

After several attentive listens and dissemination of their lyrical content and aesthetic which I have presented above, I can easily declare that Searing Fires and Lucid Visions is one of the better black metal albums which I have heard in a while. This is black metal executed in the way it should be. Esoteric, spiritual and underground. Of course, everybody has their own definition of black metal but for me, this is the kind of art I prefer listening to. The instrumental execution on the album is fluent and its apparent that the members know their music and have persevered to create their own path by being influenced by the adversarial gnosis. If you are an admirer of occult, ritualistic black metal a la Ofermod, old Glorior Belli, Nefandus etc. then this is an album which you must obtain. Their musical influences are apparent but what makes this album worthwhile is the fact that they have been able to present their ideas in their own, unique manner, hence giving a great kick-start to their creative energies. The pslams reflect devotion and spiritual ascension and are well played without being redundant and uninspired. They are easily memorable and possess a great charm. However the only shortcoming on the album is that its length is very short for a being categorized as a full length. The album booklet could have been better and more comprehensible too. But these are minor flaws which I am sure that the horde would certainly improve on for their future works. Obtain a copy of the album and immerse yourself in the grand occult demenaor which it emanates!

REVIEW 3 (SPANISH) by Jeronisancho, for Executioner Zine (posted 24.04.2012)

Desde la región de Kempen, al noreste de Bélgica, se presentan Adustum, un trio formado por Kdl, IV y Ïal Lehmti I’Riv que sin ediciones anteriores conocidas se estrena directamente por un sello alemán que rebosa calidad en sus ediciones en lo referente a la escena Black Metal, World Terror Committee. Su primera edición es “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions”, un álbum de cuatro temas que yo más bien calificaría como de mini álbum por su corta duración de treinta minutos casi justos.

En este mini álbum los belgas nos presentan cuatro temas de un Black Metal ocultista que evoca las corrientes de energías clifóticas e invoca al ángel caído, la serpiente y la iluminación por el estudio de la Cábala. Un Metal negro que a nivel técnico está puramente anclado en la escena clásica de los noventa, recogiendo las influencias tanto del sonido nórdico (Marduk, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Dissection) como de las primeras grabaciones de sus paisanos Enthroned, pero que también apuesta hacia el futuro del género y las vías que ha tomado en ls últimos años. Black Metal infernal, con una buena dósis de melodía y una preferencia por la velocidad, aún con cierto matiz de técnica y progresión en sus composiciones, como minimo para no convertirse en una banda de objetivo lineal.

Destacan por encima de todo unas tremendas melodías, muy bien desarrolladas sobre todos los altos y bajos que buscan sus composiciones, adornándolas en alguna ocasión con rasgados algo más crudos o con arpegios siniestros, y apoyándose sobre una base rítmica sólida, que apuesta bastante por los blastbeats y el doble bombo (así como el apoyo que le brinda el bajo) y pone el contrapunto de graves a unas guitarras que tienden más bien hacia los tonos agudos. Al final, lo que más sorprende es encontrarse con una grabación que sin romper esquemas en su visión y contexto general (y más con la cantidad de bandas que en los últimos años han tirado hacia estos derroteros ocultistas o como se quiera llamarlos) y con recursos estilísticos que tampoco van a sorprender a los habituales seguidores de este tipo de sonidos, desprenden una energía y atmósfera bastante destacable.Mérito añadido le daría a la voz, que no abusa de la extremización de su registro, ni intenta seguir excesivamente el tempo de la música, y consigue crear el efecto ritualista e hipnótico que se espera de ella.

Como apunte final, diría que la producción es profesional y consigue envolver bien a la música, dándole un halo de misterio y frialdad sólo roto en algún que otro momento por un sonido de bombo que, cuando le da al doble pedal, da cuenta de que han recurrido a los triggers, y rompe en un pequeño grado la magia del ambiente.

La escena belga al fin despierta del letargo en el que parecía profundamente enclaustrada desde esas formaciones que tanto renombre le dieron. Junto a Cult Of Erinyes estos Adustum prometen devolverle el impulso.

REVIEW 4 (ENGLISH) by Bobby Peru, for Deaf Sparrow Zine (posted n/a)

Bands that work at high velocity have difficult decisions to make; control the speed to retain control of the melody or shed textures and sacrifice semblance of dynamics and layering all in the name of blinding music, which in turn, to many black metalheads, translates to aural hate. Belgium’s Adustum push it for the better part of their debut EP. In three out of the four tracks the velocity is undifferentiated and the footwork of drummer Kdl worthy of worship. One may not notice this factor for a while, but after getting battered by the blurry tempos of the first two cuts, it is not until the eleven relentless minutes of “The Eulogy of One Through Three Times Three” that the listener may start questioning whether this and the previous ones are one and the same songs. Simple mathematics aside, it takes digging to find the difference between them.

The track in question goes on for eleven minutes. Unlike the previous two which top at five and the following one that expires at nine, in “The Eulogy of On Through Three Times Three” the listener finds him/herself immersed in sustained constant tempos. The fact that Adustum establish a mood and hammer their point home with the stamina of Beelzebub may disorient the thousands who have noticed a new faction in the black metal underground; the emergence of the fucking Cascadian movement. In it, similar patterns to those exposed in the track in question are embraced; long ranges, long riffs, grand ideas, etc. Adustum may not share naturalistic beliefs and by the look of our man Ïal Lehmti I’Riv, he could give two shits about a tree, but the feeling is there and the song structures are quite obvious. Then again, Adustum hail from Kempen, Belgium. Do an image search on Google for it and what pops up are pictures of forests and hiking grounds.

Searing Fires and Lucid Visions is a confident piece of work. The instrumentation is quite flawless and though aside from the incredible drumming of Kdl, everyone else seems to keep a low profile, the trio has made sure to have some respect for their performance. The sound of the album is clean and organic. There are no high tones, not shattering pitches making you cringe, and the guitar is modulated to have this blurry but almost comforting tone. The vocals are as creepy as intended, but far from over the top. Instead, there is a focus in order and in its elements. It is clear who musically reigns supreme here, Kdl even gets about four minutes of solo air time at the end of “Psalm CLVI – The Rites of Lunar Blood”.

REVIEW 5 (ENGLISH) by Ebby Sasi, for Imhotep (posted n/a)

Talent, passion and courage is essential for musicians to make big in metal oeuvre. The current Black Metal scene has many promising and highly talented young bands that have made their presence felt over a half of decade. Acrimonious, Fides Inversa and Ascension are some of them, and now Adustum from Belgium have proved it with their debut album “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions” which was released on World Terror Committee late October 2011. The sheer black art of this band is almost overwhelming. “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions” is the result of four years after the formation of the band. I mention this because many bands tend to quickly release the material they come up with right from the start. But the album is just 30 minutes long! It features four excelsior compositions! It’s not pathetic but I think they could have added three or four tracks more on “Searing Fires and Lucid Visions”. Their aesthetic glories are tethered to a humbled and exalted.

The record began with excellent “V.O.H.I.R – Exvocutium Daemonium”. The track attested to the vocals maturity as an artist. This track is noteworthy. There is an easy flow of guitars and vocal is melodious, yet highly concentrated on pure evilness. A vicious splendour comes to surface. Ïal Lehmti I’Riv rendered all the lyrics and music and the adrenalin-packed excitement comes with the intriguingly titled “The Eulogy of One Through Three Times Three” is easily the most astonishing. The eleven minutes of searing overtones that will leave listeners in ecstasy. A great deal of hellish guitar melodies and harmonic textures. This is what I like from Adustum. I am looking for bands like this which try to put more thought, ideologies in their music.

I am enthralled by the structures of “Ravenous Copulation upon Her Altar Of Catamenia”. “The scent of her flesh lured me in as the death of a million children began”. The lyrics and the delineation of the guitars are noteworthy. It really creates a great tremendous melodic mood and it reaches the same heights of the Ofermod and Watain essence in it but considered far more evil and darker than any of them. “Psalm CLVI – The Rites of Lunar Blood” can evoke a contemplative mood. A song which is very close to me as well and my most played track from the album. The ambient interlude makes it more amazing. The album has a unique level of accessibility. From the remnants of the fallen empire of two streams, this album is the unquenchable star of aoens and temptress of all who wander freely and obsessively for wisdom of magic and perfection. One of the best albums I’ve heard in 2012.

Europe dominates the black metal world in a significant way from the nineties and this domination carries on into the first part of the second decade of the 21st century. Adustum is mature and I would say just knocking on the doors of dominance. However, a lot of work still needs to be done for the band to enter the phase of dominance completely. The challenge for the succession plan begins now. The band is currently well-oiled. It’s a wonderful blend of experience I think. The debut has reached all over the globe through WTC.

The production plays a big role in Black Metal; like in any form of music. I can say that World Terror Committee is constantly releasing top-notch albums these days. Adustum is one of the younger bands that hold the flame high through the music. The dark storm clouds of “Searing Fires…” are still hovering over Europe and worldwide. Behold! A black metal band I do enjoy a lot.

score: 5/6

REVIEW 6 (FINISH) by Serpent, for Imperiumi (posted 14.08.2012)


Norsecore elää ja voi hyvin, niin kotimaassaan kuin sen ulkopuolellakin. Omalta osaltaan genren perintöä vaalii myös belgialainen Adustum, jonka debyyttilevy toistaa vanhaa ja hyväksi havaittua kaavaa neljän biisin verran.

Searing Fires and Lucid Visionsin reipastempoinen melodinen riffitulitus voisi olla hyvin kotoisin Norjan tai Ruotsin loppumattomilta black metal -lakeuksilta. Niin soundit kuin sävellyksellinen antikin ovat tavallaan genren peruskalustoa, eikä pirtaan tehdä muutoksia liioin laulupuolen ilmaisulla. Adustum onkin selvästi valinnut turvallisen ja yllätyksettömän reitin ilmaisulleen. Vertauskuvalla jatkaen Searing Fires and Lucid Visions on kuin ruisleipä, joka maistuu monelle vuodesta toiseen, mutta joka (genre)karppaajalle tuskin kelpaa ruokapöytään edes välipalana.

Searing Fires and Lucid Visions on juuri sellainen levy, josta haluaisi innostua vielä vähän enemmän kuin mikä on käytännössä mahdollista. Riffeissä on hyvää yritystä ja tunnelmakin on ihan kohdallaan, mutta jotain vaan puuttuu. Vika ei löydy soundeista, lauluista, eikä oikeastaan edes kappaleiden sovituksista. Adustum vain on turhankin persoonatonta omassa lajissaan. Oikeastaan ainoan erilaisen ja kiinnostavan poikkeuksen tekee levyn päätösraita, joka on suurelta osin rytmitettyä ambient-fiilistelyä.

Searing Fires and Lucid Visions on vallan kelpo levy, muttei millään saralla mieleenpainuva. Norsecore-fanittajille kuitenkin koeajonsa arvoinen.

REVIEW 7 (GERMAN) by Aceust, for Hateful (posted n/a)


ADUSTUM ist es gelungen mit dem Debütalbum Searing Fires And Lucid Visions ein Stück Black Metal zu machen, an dem sich die Geister scheiden werden. Die Einen werden es unglaublich langweilig finden, die Anderen gerade wegen der Beschränkung auf das Wesentliche lieben oder doch zumindest schätzen. Musikalisch geben die drei Belgier hier geradlinigen, schnörkellosen Black Metal zum Besten, der inhaltlich okkulte Themen behandelt. Ich gehöre zur Fraktion derjenigen, die das Album schätzen. Ich mag das Einfache und Direkte des Albums. ADUSTUM hatten offensichtlich niemals den Anspruch, hier musikalisch etwas Neues oder Großes machen zu wollen. Warum auch? Black Metal, wenn er ehrlich und einfach ist, kann so gut sein. Und genau hierin liegt für mich die Stärke des Materials. Searing Fires And Lucid Visions ist Black Metal, bestehend aus Gesang, Gitarre, Bass und Schlagwerk. Mehr gibt es nicht. ADUSTUM verzichten sogar weitgehend auf atmosphärische oder okkulte Ein- oder Überleitungen. Ich mag das. Die Riffs sind ansprechend, an einer Stelle gar an ABSU zu früheren Zeiten erinnernd, da sie leicht melodisch, aber stets auch flott und treibend sind. Das Spiel am Schlagwerk ist flott, oft sehr geradlinig, aber auch ein wenig, in gewissem Maße, abwechslungsreich. Im Großen und Ganzen ist es aber ein schnelles, geradliniges Album mit sehr überschaubaren Strukturen. Die Lieder sind lang und über weite Strecken arm an Veränderung, und wenn es Veränderung gibt, ist sie dezent, was meiner Meinung nach, atmosphärisch durchaus aussagekräftig ist.

Musikalisch ist Searing Fires And Lucid Visions für mich ein sehr stimmiges und authentisches Album, das von seiner bewussten geradlinigen und minimalistischen Auslegung lebt. Die Atmosphäre ist dunkel und bedrohlich, dank geschickt arrangierter atmosphärischer Schnipsel, die die rituelle und okkulte Thematik überaus dezent vermitteln. Für mich eine ansprechende und empfehlenswerte Scheibe, was sicherlich aber nicht jeder so sehen wird.

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