November 13, 2013

Vastum - Patricidal Lust - 2

Review by Justin C.

Artwork by Paolo Girardi

20 Buck Spin has released Vastum's second full-length, Patricidal Lust. Fans of the old-school, scuzzy death metal they played on their first album, Carnal Law, will find a lot to enjoy here, if "enjoy" is the right word to use for a band that bravely treads so far into uncomfortable lyrical territory.

Vastum 2011. Photo by brandi.

Patricidal Lust continues the twin vocal attack from Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf. They nicely avoid the cliche of rough male vocals and pretty female vocals by having both singers growl. Their vocal deliveries are similar enough to mesh well, but different enough in pitch and timbre to justify having dual vocals. The riffs are also a great mix, from the Sabbath-y album opener of "Libidinal Spring" to the chugging of "3 AM in Agony" and the doomy crawl of the opening of "Incel." The band hasn't wandered far from the style of their debut album, but their songcraft is tighter, and the tracks are more engaging. While listening to the title track at work, I found myself pounding away on my keyboard rest to the slow-motion thrashy riffs, and given the generally high level of reserve I try to practice at work, that's quite a statement about how this music can draw you in.

Vastum 2011. Photo by brandi.

The title of the album and track titles like "Repulsive Arousal" give a good indication of the lyrical content, but it's not all shock value. Abdul-Rauf's lyrics, "The object of my affection / The source of my agony!" hints at a deeper analysis of human psychology then you'll see in less accomplished music. I generally try to avoid reading other reviews before writing up my own, but I think Brian Krasman over at Meat, Mead, Metal nails it when talking about the lyrics: " may sound like the band is writing about sexual depravity, and they are. But not of the slasher film, skeleton-feasting-on-a-female’s-genitals kind of way. Instead, they examine what’s going on in your head, how these things can form you and warp you as a human, and the very real, very scary things that go on in this realm every day." It may be a horror show, but it's a thinking man's horror show with a truly excellent soundtrack.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 20 Buck Spin, 2013, Brandi, death metal, Justin C, Vastum
1 comment:
  1. I like the analysis and the shout-out to Meat, Mead, Metal. His review of the album was fantastic. One major difference between the vocalists? Enunciation. Butler's usually not as clear. I do like the occasional spoken bits, though. They're really creepy.

    That line from "3AM in Agony" seems a lot easier to grasp than anything in the title track, for example. Trying to parse out what they mean in the title track just makes me throw my hands up.