Vastum Carnal Law

Vastum Carnal Law
Listening to this album before reading a single word about this band was a fun experience, as Vastum's take on slow, grimy death metal had this weird, yet familiar, feel to it. I had written down "Ludicra's urban sensibility" in my notes and as it turns out, this band feature someone from Hammers of Misfortune, a band with Ludicra ties that also occupy this strange real estate where the metal is fantastical yet totally street-wise. But Vastum avoid the power/prog/folk of Hammers and the black of Ludicra, instead opting for a totally oppressive trawl through the swamps of Obituary's bass-heavy death stomp and Celtic Frost's more mid-paced, traditional death metal material. This band definitely worship at the altar of the forefathers of extremity: Autopsy and Hellhammer would also be good reference points. And then, six long-ish songs later, just when you're starting to get a handle on it all, Carnal Law is over, not leaving much of an impact, but certainly sounding good while it's playing, standing out in all the best ways, with the raw production, ugly vibe and way honest feel. Cool. (20 Buck Spin)