Crusty, doom-ridden San Francisco death metal quintet Vastum features members of Acephalix, Infest, and Saros/Amber Asylum/Hammers Of Misfortune (those last three via guitarist/co-vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf). Their debut five-song Carnal Law, originally issued as a demo, is receiving proper widespread CD release courtesy of 20 Buck Spin (and vinyl via Contagion). This is real, deeply (and putridly) dense death metal, not the shiny, tech-y breakdown-happy sort. Which isn’t to say the players don’t have technique: Think Autopsy, Death, Carcass, Grave, and Nirvana 2002 (and plenty of other early Swedes), or more recently the amazing Greeks, Dead Congregation. Also mull over the breath-of-fresh-air subject matter involving “themes of sexuality and psychic disfiguration, not in the oft juvenile way associated with underground metal, but in the more cerebral context one finds in the work of Georges Bataille or psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche…” Opener “Primal Seduction” offers a great example of these elements coming together — and, as someone warned me before plopping it on for the first time, grab yourself a neck brace.
01 “Primal Seduction”
04 “Umbra Interna”
05 “Carnal Law”
06 “Spirit Abused”
Carnal Law is out 5/31 via 20 Buck Spin. It’s a great, teasingly brief offering.