Review: Vastum – Carnal Law

It’s been a while since I’ve last reviewed an album so it’s time to listen to some new music and let you all know what to buy and what, well, not.

Today I’m reviewing Vastum’s debut album Carnal Law. Vastum are a band from San Francisco, California, consinsting of members of Acephalix and Saros.

Vastum play an interesting blend of oldschool Death Metal and Doom Metal but why don’t we just get right into the review? Make the jump to read on.

Vastum – Carnal Law

1. Primal Seduction – 5:23
2. Re-Member – 5:05
3. Devoid – 6:08
4. Umbra Interna – 5:08
5. Carnal Law – 4:21
6. Spirit Abused – 7:36

The artwork for Carnal Law would have definitely fit into the early Death Metal scene. It’s provocative and violent, just the way I like my artworks. I also have a soft spot for impaling so that gets a plus-point in my book. You’re not here to read my ramblings about the artwork though, are you?

Well, let’s get into the music then. The album starts off very strong with ‘Primal Seduction,’ a song that reminds me of mid-90’s Hypocrisy. It’s doomy and just straight up evil. The solo of this song is a definite highlight on the album. The doomy sound runs like a common thread through the album but it never quite turns into Doom Metal. It is Death Metal. Doomy Death Metal. Whatever, you get the point.

The whole album could have been written by one of the early Scandinavian Death Metal bands. I’m not talking about Melodic Death Metal but bands like Entombed, Unleashed etc.

The quality is quite high all through the album. Not one of these six songs is of lower quality. The riffs are catchy and sometimes, in the case of ‘Carnal Law,’ even go Mortician-like ways. Mortician are known for writing some of the meanest riffs in metal, so that simply can’t be bad. The vocals are rather monotonic but add a lot to the overall very dark sound of the songs.

The album closes with ‘Spirit Abused,’ again a song that reminds me of another band. In this case it reminds me of early Amon Amarth. If you’re reading this site regularly, then you know that I’m a big fan of AA, so take this as a compliment.

So Carnal Law is a great debut album for Vastum but it comes 20 years too late to be considered groundbreaking. It takes notes from some of the greatest bands within Death Metal and turns into an album that I’d call an hommage to the early Swedish Death Metal scene. If you’re fond of that scene, as you should be, don’t think twice before buying this album. You simply can’t go wrong. If you’re hoping for something unique and fresh though, you’re certainly wrong with Carnal Law.

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