December 1, 2012

Vastum - Carnal Law

Vastum's Carnal Law is great old-school sounding Death Metal, but it is also more than that. Let's start with the music; the esteemed Full Metal Attorney tells a tale:
San Francisco, 1993: A few of guys see Autopsy play, trade bootleg Incantation tapes, and hear a rote description of My Dying Bride's As the Flower Withers (without actually hearing the album itself). They get piss-drunk, buy some time at a studio, and lay down six primitive, raw, doomy death metal tracks. After making and selling a dozen copies, they lose the master tape, and the erstwhile band just sort of fades into nonexistence ... Eighteen years later, a savvy construction worker with a Possessed tattoo finds a copy while tearing down a condemned apartment building.
The music is tightly executed, and the solos are like little sharp bursts of laser light. The dual growls of Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf are terrific. As Cosmo Lee noted: Vastum may have the first male-female vocal pairing that does not divide roles along gender lines.

Photo by Taylor Keahey.

The music of Vastum is good for sure and, as the Full Metal Attorney tale hints at, not overly original. What do make the band stand out is the psycho sexuality of the lyrics, check out these examples from the first two songs:
Feed on the orifice of Night
Rectal communion
Crawl away from the Light
In terror of fusion

Left the penis with my Father
A womb with my mom
Heart with my Mother
Exogamous laws…
The music may be death, but lyrics are very much about life. Twisted sexual life, but life nonetheless. Death metal songs about about bruised carnal melancholy (again quoting Mr. Lee); it is appropriate that Vastum is latin for "empty" or "deserted"...

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2011, death metal, Taylor Keahey, Vastum
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