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Vastum - Hole Below Award winner

Vastum
Hole Below
by H.P. Buttcraft at 25 November 2015, 11:10 PM

After “Patricidal Lust”, which was such an immense LP in 2013, band gives us just a pocket-sized monster of an EP called “Hole Below”; a small monster is still nonetheless a monster and not something as cliché and predictable as a vampire or a zombie. VASTUM explores a universe where hedonism and nihilism collide. If this band were religious in any sense, it would be the band worshipping the most depraved and sadistic gods imaginable.

Their song titles like “Hole Below (A Dream Of Ritual Abuse)” sort of speaks for itself. The true monstrosity of human nature lies within the darkest chasms of its ‘eros’, and the erotic behavior mirrors this otherworldly, bestial spirit, so to speak. This is the pool that VASTUM drinks from for their musical inspiration; it’s ironic that this music is labeled “Death Metal” because the subjects that it chooses to focus its brutality upon is very much alive and writhing in the repulsion of life’s energy. If you thought death was brutal, just wait until you see how brutal and revolting creating life can be.

So now that I have made this music way more complicated than it needed to be, let’s talk about the music. The song “Aminosis” is an infectious and simultaneously seductive ditty for it sounding as hideous and merciless the Death Metal grows and grows. The song structure follows the formulas laid out by preceding legends SUFFOCATION, ENTOMBED, BLOODBATH and DEATH where everything revolves around those distorted guitars and the quick double bass drums. Its music that most hardcore Death Metal fans will recognize and latch onto for sure.

There is something monolithic about the way the vocals sound. VASTUM’s sounds can find semblance to a demonic beast emerging out of a deep well in the earth and its echoes are being conjured forth by the harmonic minor Satanism - the drums and electric instruments surrounding its maw. I can imagine this band only performing shows around a deep hole in the ground and whatever gets summoned in that pit is what substitutes the vocalist. That’s certainly not the case literally with them, but that’s just how primitive the power of their musical characterizes.

Lead guitar player and backup singer Leila Abdul-Rauf, who I remember from the defunct Melodic Black Metal band SAROS, provides some awesome leads on “Hole Below”. Her neo-classically inspired solos that become molested and abused by the ritualistic beat down of the rhythm and bass sections accents every single one of these deranged and subhuman compositions; her guitar playing is the only voice in the music that even attempts to reach out for something more pure and beautiful and this assimilates really well with the seductive quality of the rhythms on songs like “Empty Breast”.

Hole Below” is about as brutal as it gets, readers. The album is not a game changing Death Metal album but this band plays the game like goddamn champions. This music was written from the darkest edges of the earth and if you come to expect any symphonic climaxes or acoustic guitar interludes, you will be mercilessly confronted with the hideous brutality of Death Metal. VASTUM will swallow you whole and defecate your out of their “Hole Below”.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Sodomistic Malevolence
  2. Amniosis
  3. In Sickness And In Death
  4. Intrusions
  5. Hole Below (A Dream Of Ritual Abuse)
  6. Empty Breast
Lineup:
Daniel Butler – Vocals
Luca Indrio – Bass
Leila Abdul-Rauf – Guitars, Vocals
Shelby Lermo – Guitars
Adam Perry – Drums
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin
     


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Edited 05 December 2022
 

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