We’ve all seen it way too many times. All too often, bands pop up overnight and seem to shoot straight to over-played, over-hyped, and even mainstream status without having even a single ounce of the so-called “goods“ to back up the previously-mentioned hype. These days, admittedly pathetic bands like that are a dime a goddamn dozen. So much, in fact, it’s getting to the point that the metal and/or extreme music scenes in general have become inundated in an unending torrent of disposable clones. This leads one to think that maybe it’s time to issue a disclaimer of sorts…a warning for all that find themselves about to be subjected to the horror of such a hollow, rehashed shitstorm that they are about to make one of the biggest mistakes of their trend-controlled lives. But, thankfully, a sizable army true to the cause still rages on, nostrils flaring, blades swinging, barrels blasting. From the legendary Bay Area, we hear the furious call from yet another group of true soldiers, ready to slay the weak copycats plaguing the legacy of all that the extreme side of music was ever meant to be. Through the smoke and geysers of arterial spray from fallen posers, we see a banner waving, and it reads…Vastum.
Having only unleashed their debut performance during March of last year, San Francisco’s death-dealing five-piece, Vastum are already building the momentum and justifiable (and undeniably underground-as-fuck) following explosive enough to rival the inferno of Hell itself. Featuring members of Acephalix, Saros, and Sutek Conspiracy, these California crust/death crossover hellraisers bring it to the proverbial table with a clenched, trembling fist. Thrashy and relentless, the band’s three-song EP, Corpus, a is blast of scorching vehemence that fans of Celtic Frost, Entombed and even the more guttural in the way of death metal will find themselves frothing at the mouth over.
The twin-vocal attack of Daniel Butler and guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf is a ravenous beast unchained through the duration of all three tracks, the longest of which clocks in at just over three minutes. Harsh and seemingly torn from the throats of demons, the duo’s vocal approach offers textured flavor to the fist-banging mania found here. The rhythm section knows exactly what the hell they’re doing, as evident in the rampaging gallop provided throughout by bassist Spencer Horne and drummer R.D. Davies. The riffs are piled on like the Black Death stacked corpses, reminiscent (yet not plagiaristic) of the trademark sorcery of the almighty Tom G. Warrior himself. Every track here (“Ascendant”, “Master’s Mark” and “Cruel Sun Rising”) presents its own form of highlight…a new mix of raspy, crust-caked vocals and mosh-inducing instrumentation that makes this reviewer become lost in sentimental daydreams, wishing it were still the early 1990’s. Keep a vigilant eye on these dudes…and gal. They might just tear this place wide-fucking-open!
If you’re still not sold, check out the EP streaming now at: vastum.bandcamp.com/