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 lyrical/vocal attack of Daniel Butler and Leila Abdul-Rauf appears throughout Inward To Gethsemane; 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 with five albums in twelve years all released through 20 Buck Spin, 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.
VASTUM’s Inward To Gethsemane was mixed and recorded by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios (Acephalix, Ulthar, Necrot), mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Mournful Congregation, Year Of The Knife), with artwork once again by the band’s Daniel Butler, photography by Chris Johnston, and layout by Dan Fried. All who endure the hammering ways of Bolt Thrower, Undergang, Autopsy, Necrot, Phrenelith, Mortuous, Coffins, Dead Congregation, Grave, and Demigod, do not miss Inward To Gethsemane.
With the first harbinger from Inward To Gethsemane, “Indwelling Archon,” Butler writes, “It’s a song about birth and loneliness in the pleroma.”
Stand by for additional precursory tracks from Inward To Gethsemane to be issued over the dark weeks ahead.
Inward To Gethsemane Track Listing:
1. In Bed With Death
2. Priapic Chasms
3. Stillborn Eternity
5. Indwelling Archon
7. Corpus Fractum
Leila Abdul Rauf – guitars, vocals, synths
Daniel Butler – vocals
Shelby Lermo – guitars
Chad Gailey – drums
Colin Tarvin – bass