Vastum
Patricidal Lust

Graced with with one of 2013’s most striking artwork (courtesy of Paolo Girardi also responsible for Inquisition’s Obscure Verses for the Multiverse), the second release from San Francisco Vastum  is a simple, yet tense affair with lyrical themes based on Oedipal complexes, incest, child abuse and patricide. With former members of Acephalix, Vastum share  a similar crusty/death metal hues, but deliver a much doomier, crawling approach, and approach cemented by the cavernous vocals of Leila Abdul-Rauf, also of Hammers of Misfortune and Amber Asylum.

The old school, simple mid paced chug ‘n’ crawl has tangible ties to the likes of Autopsy, Krypts, Bolt Thrower,  Coffins, Funerus  but even more stripped down, as well as a heavy Cianide gait and tone and Vastum make no apologies about their simplistic sound, even with the disturbing lyrics and themes being far more complex than the music, but the oozing, thick aura of the music somehow suits the icky themes.

Make no bones about it, Vastum’s sound is neanderthal as it gets, at times making Jungle Rot look like Theory In Practice  (” i.e. Enigma of Disgust”) , but the oppressive, foreboding chug and palatable mood make the album bore into you despite its simplicity, if aided by the uncomfortable lyrics as displayed by titles like “3 AM In Agony”,  and “Repulsive Arousal”. With only 6 songs and 37 minutes in length, the tracks are a bit long considering the simple scrawl they deliver, so at times they do meander and repeat, but it’s so fraught with nightmarish prose, tension and lyrics (“Spill your seed into my father’s tears, his suffering all over my body”),  that you listen to, hooked and disgusted at the same time. The riffs are murky and simple, but devastatingly effective as conveying the subject matter without samples, atmospherics or gimmicks. The muddy, crawling throes alone place you cowering in a dank room, with the moist musk of sex and shame heavy in the air as a dark figure leers over you.

That being said, none of the songs on a pure musical level will really jump out or command your attention alone. This isn’t driving  along, head banging death metal or mood enhancing metal, This is crushing simplicity at its finest, laced with some truly disturbing lyrics. Heck- some of the themes and lyrics put some of the so called ‘brutal’ misogynistic death metal bands to shame.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 16th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: j.d.

    If nothing else, it wins the award for gnarliest cover art


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