By Hera Vidal. Vaee Solis is a relatively young band, but with Adversarial Light, they show that they are not here to mess around. There is something so compelling yet ominous about this record that it makes your skin crawl, and that feeling doesn’t go away, even after the record has stopped playing.By Hera Vidal.
Vaee Solis is a relatively young band, but with Adversarial Light, they show that they are not here to mess around. There is something so compelling yet ominous about this record that it makes your skin crawl, and that feeling doesn’t go away, even after the record has stopped playing. Now, Adversarial Light is a hard album to categorize—the best I could come with is blackened doom with sludge influences—but there is something extremely honest about it that you cannot ignore.
|Photo by Pedro Roque.|
Adversarial Light starts with “Saturn’s Storm”, a song filled with enough claustrophobic atmosphere that it feels like a pressing weight on your chest. This song brims with a hate and a rage I have only seem in depressive black metal bands like Shining (the Swedish one): the distorted, downtuned guitar gives the song a slow, ominous feel, while the vocals hit you with relentless abandon. It’s almost as if they are trying to exorcise their inner demons through song, and it works perfectly. Then, it transitions to the title track, “Adversarial Light”, which downplays their catharsis. Unlike “Saturn’s Storm”, “Adversarial Light” errs on the side of being enjoyable, but the atmosphere and the density of the music is incredibly punishing. What makes this song interesting are the male-backed vocals that punctuate the main vocals after major parts of the song. It makes the song easier to swallow—a first-time listener may be put off by the first track, especially when emotional intensity seems to be the major focus. Now, “Ennoia” returns to the themes that “Saturn’s Storm” dealt with, albeit they are a watered-down version of the emotional intensity. The pace is slower—almost zombie-like—and the vocals add to that, enveloping you more into this dense fog of dread, further blurring the lines between drone doom qualities and small crust touches.
|Photos by Pedro Roque.|
Things begin to change on “Feral Isolation”, which immediately makes the listener focus with an intense amount of feedback, followed by the vocals. The vocals here are different from what was going on at the first half of the album: they sound absolutely feral and remind the listener that their listening experience is not over. However, this song is also the shortest one on the album, which has the problem of being completely seamless. If you don’t pay attention, the song fades away and moves on to “♎”. Surprisingly, the sign of Libra is usually seen as a symbol of justice and balance, which shows in both the music and vocals. Unlike the rest of the song, which either focused too much on the vocals or on the eternal slow pace of the guitar, they move coherently into a pleasant tonality. It’s a good continuation of what was happening on “Feral Isolation”—slow yet paced drums, with a distorted guitar reverb, and vocals that sound incredible and make the song memorable. Things return to normal on “Cosmocrat”, the final track on the album. Building up on everything that the album has been creating, this track is a culmination of the slow yet dense atmosphere that the album has. This song reminds you that the band has a distinct style they want to carry out, despite how heavy and draining it can be on the listening. “Cosmocrat” is a test to the listener’s attention, and they are rewarded with a long outro that is paced by the drums. While the vocals towards the end of the song is almost overkill, it makes the brutality the band has shown seem worthwhile,
|Photos by Pedro Roque.|
All in all, Adversarial Light is a testament to a band that has created their own identity without fanfare. They are brutal, filled with rage, and are willing to take you by the hand to show you the heart’s inner torment. The stellar vocals by singer Sofia Loureiro blur the line between genders and show that you can’t judge a band based on their vocals. The rage behind it all is incredible, and to contain it in 39 minutes is a feat. They also have incredible production value, which further demonstrates that the band knows what they are doing. If you are looking for something that shows the catharsis of extreme emotion, then Adversarial Light is for you.