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Vacuous Depths – Corporal Humiliation

Vacuous Depths
Corporal Humiliation
by Thomas Kumke at 28 November 2022, 6:00 AM

VACUOUS DEPTH hailing from Tampa, Florida were formed in 2017. After releasing one demo in 2017, the Death Metal outfit’s debut album has a length of approximately 30 minutes. The recording, mixing, and mastering was done by Dan Byers (METAL ALLEGIANCE; MASTODON) at The Hum Depot. The album was released via Swedish label Blood Harvest which has a number of Thrash, Black, and Death Metal bands among their roster. No video was released from the album yet. During their five years long career, VACUOUS DEPTH underwent already a few line-up changes long before the release of their first album. From the original line-up, only vocalist and guitarist Austin has survived, Bassist Arturo Palomo joined in 2019 and drummer Dustin Rogers followed in 2020. Those changes might be the reason for the long time span between the first demo and the debut album.

The album starts with flesh-ripping guitar riffs and crunching bass lines. After a short mid-tempo pre-lude, “Gold Crosses” develops into a track, which permanently switches between insanity in speed, mid-tempo, and slower parts with a stomping rhythm. The growling vocals are mostly at the low end of the guttural range. The overall sound reminds on traditional Swedish Death Metal with the characteristically buzz saw guitars. “Gold Crosses” transitions into “Deep Night” which starts at a pounding rhythm. It transitions soon into a mid-tempo track, but with frequent breaks in rhythm. The track is mainly driven by the guitars and the bass, while the vocals sound a bit subdued. “Exteriorization” starts at frantic pace, before it turns into mid-tempo with a lot of double-bass drums. The vocals are a bit more versatile and include a few higher notes. The song is mainly driven by the relentless drumming and that gives “Exteriorization” an extra dimension.

Gaunt Reflections” starts with grim melodies and powerful riffs. Characteristic for the sound of VACUOUS DEPTH are the mid-tempo introductions, before the insanity of rhythm twists begins. “Gaunt Reflections” has a whole variety of different rhythms including a part at crazy speed when all hell breaks loose. For me, “Gaunt Reflections” is one of the album highlights. “Worshipper Of Death” and “Corporal Humiliation” show another characteristic in the sound of VACUOUS DEPTH which is the crushing bass. In particular, the title song is driven mainly by the bass lines. While “Worshipper Of Death” was a bit below average, “Corporal Humiliation” is surely another album highlight with switching between an insane carnage and a sluggish and doom-laden part. The following “Sodomized” is in principle a Death Metal pummeling without including any kind of changes in rhythm.

The onslaught continues with “Cycle Of Control” which is played at high pace right from the start. The drumming is hammering and includes a lot of blast-beats. “Cycle Of Control” is short, direct, and kick-into-the-face. “Carnival Of Venom” varies between mid-tempo and crazy speed. Highlight is again the drumming of Dustin Rogers, who leads the line and drives the track forward. “Cycle Of Control” and “Carnival Of Venom” show a third sound characteristic of the album: the lack of a melodic component and the abstinence of any lead guitar parts. The final track is a cover version of the old SEPULTURA classics “Troops Of Doom”, which is arguably the most melodic song and the only one with a short lead guitar solo on “Corporal Humiliation”.

The debut album of VACUOUS DEPTH leaves me with mixed feelings. “Corporal Humiliation” is an interesting mixture of traditional European and US Death Metal with Swedish elements in the guitar sound and the brutality and chaos of American Death Metal without a notable melodic component. The sound on the album is mainly driven by the guitars and bass, which makes it one-dimensional as the vocals are most of the time relatively monotone and do not give the sound something extra. In so far, most songs sound pretty similar and VACUOUS DEPTH will need to improve their songwriting in future albums. The album is well produced. “Corporal Humiliation” is a first mark of a relatively young band, and it will be interesting to see what the future brings for VACUOUS DEPTH.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Gold Crosses
2. Deep Night
3. Exteriorization
4. Gaunt Reflections
5. Worshipper Of Death
6. Corporal Humiliation
7. Sodomized
8. Cycle Of Control
9. Carnival Of Venom
10. Troops Of Doom
Lineup:
Austin – Vocals, Guitars
Dustin Rogers – Drums
Arturo Palomo – Bass
Record Label: Blood Harvest Records
     


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