VastumThis US act has a couple of releases already out but has not hit my death metal radar until now and thankful I am too. With the various sub-genres in death metal offering an assortment of styles according to ones preference mainly over the sound this band pulverises the listener with an old school death metal mangling via guttural and grim death metal. The opening sample with gradual fade in of grating guitar riffs is ominous and highly claustrophobic as the suffocating atmosphere harks back to the late 80s and early 90s when death metal was repugnant, disgusting and filth ridden nihilism as “Sodomitic Malevolence” gathers its forces into gruelling down tuned bludgeoning. At seven minutes the track is allowed to display its full malignancy which has echoing spoken vocals initially before they change to deep gut disembowelling tones. The pace of the song is slow, preferring to assault the listener with forceful deliberate rancour rather than fast blast workouts.

There have been some brilliant releases in this genre this year with notable entries from Desolate Shrine, Nightfell, Chapel Of Disease and
to name a few, and this sits with them in the same stagnant cess pool of thundering diabolically disgusting death metal. The speed increases marginally on “Amniosis” as the tune brings down hammer blows of unadulterated power onto our unworthy heads and has a feel of Autopsy ingrained into its gashed auditory scars. I love this genre of death metal without reservation as “In Sickness And In Death” continues the murk filled pulverising and has a slight Morbid Angel feel from the Blessed Are The Sick” album though this releases resides in the filth of Scandinavian sonic sewage.

The slow asphyxiating savagery of “Intrusions” is awesome and underpins how godly guttural this release is as double kick tramples over the listener with remorseless and maniacal glee. Whilst my emphasis on the slower aspects are obvious I should state that these passages of tardy strangulations are linked by faster bursts that act like a pernicious glue melding each component into one creepy slab of gruesome pervading revulsion. The title track is possibly the most urgent track on the album as its pace is higher and has a more typical death metal approach but it still has that cloying stink of something tangible clawing at your psyche as the release closes with “Empty Breast” and is the longest effort at over eight minutes. The tune languishes on its belly with a slow pummelling double kick drive smashing against the torso as the cavernous riffs lash out along with the ultra low vocal emanations which fit this bands music perfectly. Those wanting a clean cut death metal release then this is not for you, but those wanting to be thrown into a tomb of languid odious corruption then step right up and plunge into the dark loathsome horror that awaits you on this release.

(9/10 Martin Harris)