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On disc: Vastum

Carnal Law - Mike Thompson - 8 stars

Carnal Law

Carnal Law
(20 Buck Spin – 2011)

If Deicide's latest upset you and the preview of Morbid Angel's next album is making you contemplate suicide then I have a little bit of news that will cheer you up; death metal lives! True, old school death metal is what the five souls that make up Vastum offer on this debut album and I can tell you now that if that old sound is what you crave then you should get this one at the first opportunity.

Vastum is made up of what I would imagine are quite well known members of the underground scene. Three of the guys were members of Acephalix, a crust punk/death metal band whilst guitarist Leila you may know from Hammers Of Misfortune and Saros.

Taking the blueprint of the giants of the genre's innovators from around the globe, Vastum have taken death metal and gone back to its base form. There is not a shred of soulless 'technical' wankery, no puerile death and roll, not a hint of idiotic slam death, just pure, crushing, riff-laden death metal. The mid-pace of the majority of Vastum's songs lends the band something of a doomy air but overall the feel of the album is similar to early Grave with a hint of Carcass and mid-era Death.

At just over 33 minutes Carnal Law is an album that does not outstay its welcome. Much longer and the band would have run the risk of the album becoming samey and boring. As it stands though the half hour pummeling is just enough to keep you wanting to return for more punishment! A bloody good debut that encapsulates all that death metal should be about. Not perfect but one you should pick up!

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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