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Four years and one pandemic on from Orificial Purge, Vastum, the longest running band on the 20 Buck Spin roster, offers up its fifth bludgeoning document of psychic malaise and lost faith with ‘Inward To Gethsemane’. As before, the abject disgust unsparingly captured in Vastum’s unique approach continues to drape the music with an aura of discomfiting unease.
The cavernous density Vastum has made a core element of its discography remains as inhuman as ever, continuing to delve into darker atmospheres, yet never devolving into ambient murk; on the contrary it’s always punishing and with a fearsome momentum. The distinctively harrowing dual vocal attack of Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf appears throughout ‘Inward…’; the possessed narrators of Vastum’s hellish underworld. Eight minute album closer ‘Corpus Fractum’ manifests a transformative and even experimental side of Vastum musically and vocally, while sustaining the characteristic merciless power the band is revered for across its five albums.
Between the sporadic but legendary live performances and a worshipped discography of modern era true Death Metal, Vastum has become a torchbearer of the grisly and grotesque underground, both within its native Bay Area and well beyond. ‘Inward to Gethsemane’ carves another notch in Vastum’s totem of deviance.
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