Aesthus/Sieluhaaska – Kaski Liekkia Saatanalle

3 min read

Band: Aesthus/Sieluhaaska
Album: Kaski Liekkia Saatanalle
Label: Purity Through Fire
Release date: May 24th 2024
Country: Finland
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Well well, we are once again back to…. Finland (you all knew this was coming sooner or later). I hadn’t been familiar with either band before deciding to give a listen to this split, and honestly, this has made me interested into checking some of their other material as well. From what I’ve heard so far, both bands play black metal in the style of the Finnish masters Behexen, Horna, and even more recent acts such as Sielunvihollinen, the latter seeming to have left their mark on Aesthus specifically. The split features four songs, the lengths varying from 3 to 6 minutes. The album also has a hint of rawness to it that gives it a particularly nice finishing touch, helping highlight both the instrumentation and the vocals.

The first track on the album is a short, black and roll influenced song, with catchy riffs, groovy rhythm and a high-pitched, raspy vocal performance. There is even some bass to be found in the background, highlighting the drumming and giving the song some additional depth that helps elevate the composition as a whole. The instrumentation becomes more melodic, and more traditional at times, which offers a nice hint of contrast to the track, All in all, an excellent way to start out any release and get your audience hooked to the sound. It is definitely the kind of song that would get the crowd going at a concert.

Vaapaus Ja Kaaos comes at next, this time, with a more straightforward black metal approach from the start. The riffs retain some interesting melodies, that act as some sort of decorative details to the overall composition. The mid paced drumming sections alternate with the blast beats, thus helping create contrast and intrigue. The vocal performance is similar to the one on the first song, although being more highlighted here, somehow in the center of the attention. Like I mentioned previously, the techniques are pretty straightforward, but the rawness of the production really emphasizes its charisma and power. Personally, I love it. And also, the chorus is catchy as hell. You can’t resist headbanging to it.

Crossing into the Sieluhaaska section of the split, we are faced with a mid-paced, much more tenebrous epic titled Yli Sielujen Mustan Virran. Right of the bat, the guitar carries a more melancholic tone that reeks of misanthropy. Another obvious change are the vocals, which now sound more like shrieks and wails, compared to the crisp screeches of Aesthus. They are also more drenched in distortion, thus coming off harsher than expexted, yet fitting seamlessly into the composition. The song also maintains a more constant rhythm throughout its course. I found myself really enjoying this particular track, I particularly liked its more doomy, nihilistic approach, as it comes as a surprise when compared to the previous material.

Closing in the record we have yet another mid paced pic by the name of Abrahamin Raunoilla. It follows in a similar vein to its predecessor, but this time with an additional layer of complexity and a less gloomy atmosphere, whilst still having the vocal style in the spotlight. The song alternates between catchy and melancholic passages, thus providing a summary of the record as a whole, in a way. The length of the song also allows it to develop nicely and evolve into an extremely well written piece of black metal overall.

As a conclusion, I highly recommend every black metal fan out there to check out this hidden gem. You will surely find yourselves vibing to it, despite its short duration. 9/10 by Ioanna




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