Vastum - Carnal Law (20 Buck Spin)

A return to old style death metal...
Release Date: 
24 Apr 2011 - 11:30pm

With the trend of ‘deathcore/metalcore’ finally dying a slow death – and hopefully for good I would personally like to add – there now seems to be a paradigm shift back towards real death metal.  That is, death metal from the late 80’s and early 90’s.  No, ‘chugga chugga’ riffs, but palms muting and good old death growls.  One of the newer bands jumping onto this resurging bandwagon is Vastum, who surprisingly, hail from neither Sweden nor Florida, but ironically, the old thrash capital of the Bay Area in San Francisco.

So, as for the music? Not bad. Not bad at all.  In fact, for older ‘death heads’, Carnal Law is going to be an enticing and appealing release.  And while the press release might liken the band to mid-era Death and Carcass, we might also add, that to these ears at least, that there is also a bit of an Entombed/Dismember vibe going on as well, especially with the soloing in songs like Re-Member.

The musicianship overall is very solid, and its obvious that the band members work well together - its good to hear two guitars that interweave with each other, instead of playing the same riffs together, and having duel vocalists also adds for greater effect.  Leila Abdul Rauf, she of Hammers of Misfortune and Amber Asylum, just to name a couple of more popular bands, has to be noted as a standout, acting as both guitarist and vocalist.  If there were any doubts that a female could not add new dimensions to solid death metal, then Abdul Rauf quickly dispels these myths.

If this were the early 90’s, Vastum would be sure to shine on a higher plane, but unfortunately for them its not, and now they are just one of a thousand death metal bands that have to compete each other  - lets just hope that 20 Buck Spin can work some magic.  If you are a fan of old school bands, like those mentioned above, then this is more than highly recommended