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Adaestuo – Purge of the Night Cloak Award winner

Adaestuo
Purge of the Night Cloak
by Gary Hernandez at 24 September 2022, 7:44 PM

I don’t know, something fucked up must have happened to me when I was a kid, but I love me some Dark Ambient Black Metal. There is something about that grayscape that just beckons me. Toss in a few creepy field recordings, someone screaming, a swelling of synth, some Georgian chants off in the corner, make it lo-fo please, and then let the great magnetic field have its way engineering board and I’m all in. ADAESTUO specializes in this music. With a truly international line-up hailing from Finland (of course), Poland, and the U.S, they formed in 2014 and have two EPs and two full-lengths under their belt. Their latest EP, “Purge of the Night Cloak,” was released on August 30, 2022.

The word “adaestuo” is Latin and means swell, rush, or roar. Perfect name for a Black Metal band. I was surprised to find there is only one band registered under that name. I guess these blokes did their homework. And thank you for that! Drives me nuts when there are 17 Extreme Metal bands insisting on using the same name. But back to the album. “Purge of the Night Cloak” comprises four tracks, three titled as ‘acts’ and one nested in the middle with the aberrant moniker of “The Hydra.” The album clocks out at just over 23 minutes, so, yeah, a true EP.

Upon approaching “Purge of the Night Cloak,” the album title and the cover art give pause for thought—uneasy, disturbing thoughts—but the promise of a dark tale can’t be ignored. You drop the needle, and the eldritch symphony of exquisite nightmares begins. The album flows from “Act I” to “Act II,” cuts to an interlude with “The Hydra,” then closes with “Act III.” There might be a narrative along there somewhere. I mean the succession of acts would suggest as much. Would love to see a lyrics sheet but then again, half the fun is guessing at what the banshee screams and Melnibonian chants might be intoning.

My favorite track is “The Hydra.” It’s by far the most Atmospheric of all the tracks and features some truly chilling vocals. The track begins with an almost Folk Metal vibe, but then veers to the Cthulhuian side of darkness. Multiple replays on this one. Of the Acts, II and III are on my standouts list, though, of course, I is also very good. I loved “Act II” for its visceral attack on all the senses and “Act III” for the vocal juxtaposition of haunting siren with anguished demonic. The steady Doom inflected tempo also provides a lush grounding for the track. “Act I” has a slight Industrial vibe—I could almost smell wet rust flaking off this dark artifact. The sub-bass drops are lovely and the overall tidal outflux has a curious affect. Hekte Zaren’s frenetic ramblings interwoven with the ethereal choir make you think on night-gaunts, mist-covered graveyards, and abandoned insane asylums.

The wild variety of Hekte Zaren would be the show stealer of this album if not for the incredible songwriting as well as the performances from not one but two multi-instrumentalists.
All together a gorgeous album. It is a short trip, but one that bears repeating. Over and over. Perfect record for the season, of course, but this album is so far beyond gimmicks and commercial bullshit. A must have for any Ambient Black Metal fan.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Act I
2. Act II
3. The Hydra
4. Act III
Lineup:
P.E. Packain – All instruments
VJS – All instruments
Hekte Zaren – Vocals
Record Label: W.T.C. Productions
     


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