One of the most striking newcomers in the ever-fertile Finnish black metal underground, AESTHUS formed in 2017 and released their first demo, Polku, in the summer of 2020, which PURITY THROUGH FIRE released later that year. Already, the freezing fire of paradigmatic Finnish black metal burned brightly, and now that blaze coalesces into a conflagration on AESTHUS' debut full-length, Hanen temppelinsa varjoissa. Proud and pure, Hanen temppelinsa varjoissa exudes that aura of classic Finnish black metal from the late '90s onward, as laid down by the likes of Horna, Satanic Warmaster, and Azaghal among others. Black metal doesn't need to "be" anything more than what it already IS - or what it should be - and such is the case with AESTHUS. Every element here, from the melancholically melodic riffing to the surging 'n' swirling battery to, the distinctly twisted timbre of the Finnish tongue, of course, is in perfect, precise, PASSIONATE lockstep to create a maelstrom of hypnotic-yet-hummable proportions. Indeed, Hanen temppelinsa varjoissa is the work of a true band - meaning, a group of people playing together rather than a disconnected file-sharing project - with each of these seven songs drench in literal blood and sweat and perhaps alcohol. If there's one trump card that AESTHUS play (and poignantly), it's their dual-guitar lead work; the lead lines explode with memorability and malice in equal measure, underlining the METAL in black metal but never belaboring the point. Like the album cover's lone figure pondering mysteries only known to him, AESTHUS prefigure a new era of strength & honor with Hanen temppelinsa varjoissa.