Published Oct 24, 2019Deft delvers into the depraved depths of the human psyche, Vastum might have hit an all-time high with the haunting menace of Orificial Purge, an exercise in near-perfect, atmospheric death metal on all fronts.
Vastum have come to embody an absolute intersection of heaviness, groove and catchy riffs, with a legitimate atmosphere of discomfort. The former is largely propagated by the rhythm section, both of which come from one of modern death metal's current titans, Necrot. Both bassist Luca Indrio and newcomer Chad Gailey on drums ensure a constant stream of tumbling ferocity that transcends the Vastum of the past.
The sudden assault of "I On the Knife (Second Wound)" feels akin to Necrot's oeuvre, though spiced with a heightened glaze of doom-laden horror. The chilling strings in "Abscess Inside Us" evoke an immediate scene of desperation and finality, making the listener feel laid low by an attacker as they loom overhead. It feels less like a grotesque fantasy and more like a legitimate nightmare.
The aura of fear and scathing emotion that Vastum craft would be non-existent if not for the duality of their vocals. The conflict of Daniel Butler's abysmal gutturals and Leila Abdul-Rauf's more scathing retch are constantly at odds, almost arguing like beasts in "Reveries In Autophagia," or combining to form a singular ray of vitriol from which the listener can only drink deeply. The balance and fusion of male and female death metal vocals has been perfected on Orificial Purge, without a doubt.
Orificial Purge is a fleeting experience. Like a narrative, every story beat is hit masterfully, exciting the listener in a downward trajectory until the very end. There is no filler to be found, and even the scant moments of atmospheric quiet feel justified by the subsequent onset of tectonic death. As a band that is not talked about nearly enough, Vastum again prove that they are among the very best in the genre. (20 Buck Spin)