Adaestuo – Krew Za Krew

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: W.T.C. Productions
Released: 2018
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P.E. Packain – All instruments,
VJS – All instruments,
Hekte Zaren – Vocals.


1. Red Moon
2. Transcendental
3. Monument
4. Subterranean Fire
5. Death Transition
6. Escaine
7. Shadow Pilgrimage
8. Krew Za Krew
9. Hurmeen Tahrima


It may comes as little surprise to anyone with any passing interest in these reviews, that black metal tends to get the stick rather than the carrot from this reviewer. It’s not out of spite or malicious intent, oh no – it’s out of love. Black metal can be a glorious hotbed of music, yet so often it ploughs the same furrow to the point that it just becomes a burrow for corpse paint, black leather and spikes. So when there’s even the smallest whiff of something different, it should be embraced with open arms.

ADAESTUO breathed into existence back in those heady days of 2016 as a “covenant between three wandering souls at the unhallowed crossroads where the darkest elements of ambient, black metal, and spiritual praxis conjoin”. So far, so typical, but it’s that little bit concerning ambient the piques the interest somewhat. Now, it’s not unheard of in metal, but it goes some way towards breaking up the usual monotony that can come from the genre – so how do ADAESTUO make it work?

Pleasingly, bloody well, as it happens. However, that’s on the proviso that you can stomach ambient that is, perhaps, one rung above simple horrific noises that parade around like the manifestations of your worst nightmares in musica. If you happen to find yourself onto the CRYO CHAMBER social media channels and encounter the “What level of music are you?” scale that has been shared there, you’ll note that it is rather apt here…“Transcendental” is positively harrowing; awash with screams, noise and God knows what else, it smoulders away until a cacophonous crescendo that leaves you bewildered and needing your mummy.

“Subterranean Fire” and “Escaine” follow much the same pattern, with otherworldly sounds invading your earholes with a paralysing sense of fear. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s hugely atmospheric and even a little cinematic. The deathly piano that chimes low in “Escaine” could sit quite happily in a B-movie horror or arthouse film project. But the best is saved for last, with the album’s title track sounding akin to the soundtrack to a rather despicable seance. Creeping strings, wailing vocals and notes that rise and fall; it all comes together to form a rather haunting experience that is best listened to at night, with the curtain drawn and whilst carving pentagrams into your walls (or pencil if you’re hard-up and not hardcore).

The black metal? Yeah, it’s alright. Nothing exceptional to mention there, especially since it’s the usual fare of tremolo guitars, blasting drums and scratchy vocals. Speaking as a fan of genres from the lower end of CRYO CHAMBER’s humorous scale, the black metal almost does the rest of the dark ambient a great disservice. It breaks it up, which ordinarily would be a major boon, but it somewhat negates the experience. And with that, you have the basis for the album: it’s an experience, rather than headbanging music. You need to go the full hog with “Krew Za Krew”, as anything less than listening to the full album is to miss the point.

From this supposed “covenant” has come a pretty decent cut of dark ambient music, somewhat disappointingly riddled with a case of the black metals. “Krew Za Krew” will dutifully haunt your earballs when it’s being utterly terrifying with noise and ambience. The downside is that the black metal does nothing to add anything. Thinking of ADAESTUO as a black metal project, it should be commended for at least trying to do something a little different than the scores of others out there. It’s not new or completely innovative, but the fact that there’s an attempt to push the boundary should be lauded. So if you like your music a little weird, a little scary and a little never-going-to-leave-you-in-peace-again, welcome this mysterious trio into your life.