Death Metal has morphed and split off into many sub genres. Technical death metal, melodic death metal, and the flat-ironed bastard child deathcore are just a few examples. Vastum are a death metal band that truly sound like death. On Carnal Law, their first album on 20 Buck Spin, Vastum have taken death metal, slowed it down a bit, and stripped it to it’s crustiest and ugliest elements. Review and live photos after the jump.
Throughout the albums six songs, Vastum take the listener on a demented journey of introspective psycho-sexual musings. The vocals reverberate off crypt walls while the guitars work with the drums to smash and crunch bones under their assault. Solos appear when you least expect, but never out of place. The guitar solos are less about showing off musicianship, but rather are used as an alternate means to barrage and brutalize the ear drums. The solos as well as the vocals are Vastum’s idiosyncrasies. The vocals are handled by Dan Butler (also of San Francisco’s Acephalix) and Leila Abdul-Rauf (formerly of Saros, currently of Hammers Of Misfortune and Amber Asylum). This dual vocal approach also helps keep Carnal Law interesting. Each vocalist has a different approach with Butler’s vocals sounding like they’re convulsing up from his stomach, and Abdul-Rauf favoring more throat-oriented exorcist vocals. Both work together to create a truly disgusting and unique element to the Vastum sounds.
Tempo and groove are used extremely well on this album. Instead of lightning fast blast beats, Vastum favor mid tempo tracks where the bass, guitar and drums work together to create moments of head nod-inducing groove. Songs like ‘Devoid’, and ‘Umbra Interna’ are good examples of headbanging goodness.
Vastum are a relatively new band, but are already winning over fans and critics with Carnal Law and their abrasive live show. Look for them on the road and pick up Carnal Law on 20 Buck Spin. Live photos provided by SF Sludge.
Vastum Pacific Northwest Dates:
7/01/2011 The Know – Portland, OR w/ Atriarch, Murderess
7/02/2011 Black Lodge – Seattle, WA w/ Ritual Necromancy, Anhedonist, Countdown to Armageddon
7/03/2011 Saratoga – Portland, OR w/ Knelt Rote, Negative Queen