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Vastum - Orificial Purge

Vastum
Orificial Purge
by Quinten Serna at 02 November 2019, 7:19 PM

A decade worth of work, music, and production and VASTUM has just managed their fourth album “Orificial Purge” which also sees itself a sort of return for the band due to their near four years of radio silence; long enough to be an album the 6 songs repeat the band’s themes of cathartic brutality and macabre tones.

The album commences with the belligerent “Dispossessed In Rapture (First Wound)” whereat a sermon opens up the track as a burgeoning noise fills the atmosphere with industrial clangs coupled with a crescendo of noise—the song finally begins with the guitar blaring out a quickened riff as the band joins in for accentuations before fully embracing. The song slows a bit for the verse but quickly picks up thereafter. The successor of the track is “I On The Knife (Second Wound)” which is so near in theme it could have been the second part of an opus; the track bursts out in speed from all instruments before following suit and slowing for the verse with a hurried increase thereafter it passes; the vocal division works well here as both Abdul-Rauf and Butler are distinct from one another and neither overlap one another in cacophony or drown the other out. “Abscess Inside Us” changes direction a bit with a more relaxed tempo and a leading melody coupled with a rhythm in lieu of a straight rhythmic section wherein just before the verse’s end the guitars harmonize with one another on the lead portions. Sappho—the Greek Poet—once wrote, “My voice goes,//My tongue Freezes. Fire,/Delicate fire, in the flesh./Blind, stunned, the sound/Of thunder, in my ears… I turn the color of dead grass,/And I’m an inch from dying.” While Sapphic poetry has little to do with the band’s intent it is interesting to see an author from nearly 2600 years ago having much of the same delivery in her voice as the band does in theirs as her namesake is referenced within the title “His Sapphic Longing.” Ironically there are a good amount of dactyls voiced within the song, which is what most Ancient Greek poetry used.

The sound as a whole is focused on the more brutal aspects of human nature—what drives us, what inspires us, what inhibits us, and where our deepest desires are rooted; the atavistic tonality help to deliver the band’s message and drive in their intent with every gritty guitar note, every reaching bass line, every primeval and aggressive drum, and every guttural depressive vocal scream. The guitars themselves have an expertly crafted tone, somewhere between high mids and full body where they are still incredibly distinct from the other instruments yet don’t fall into those high-range and tinny tones that many guitarists mistakenly believe they need to pursue; the bass is a bit buried, most likely due to sharing many tone attributes with the guitars but still finds a way into the soundscape and has an incredibly rich texture for it; the drums are heavy and perfectly mixed as well as aligned.

For fans returning to the war machine that is VASTUM they will find themselves pleasantly delighted at what the band has to offer, new listeners themselves might become enthralled at the heavy handed riffs and guttural screaming. The album feels a bit short consisting of 6 tracks which manifest at 35 and a half minutes, it might be just a personal view, but otherwise “Orificial Purge” is overall well constructed, thought provoking, and inspiring.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dispossessed In Rapture (First Wound)
2. I On The Knife (Second Wound)
3. Abscess Inside Us
4. Orificial Purge
5. Reveries In Autophagia
6. His Sapphic Longing
Lineup:
Luca Indrio—Bass
Chad Gailey—Drums
Leila Abdul-Rauf—Guitars and Vocals
Shelby Lermo—Guitars
Daniel Butler—Vocals
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin
     


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