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.

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