Through the verbose horror of their first two LPs — 2011’s Carnal Law and 2013’s Patricidal Lust — San Francisco’s Vastum sadistically carved a jagged dripping wound into an increasingly reductive American death metal scene. One of the most lyrically unique, creative and disturbing bands in underground metal, now arising for their third full length album, Vastum plumbs the depths of internalized agony and degradation farther than ever on Hole Below. Characterized by a deeply cavernous trudge through gut churning heaviness,Vastum's music both bluntly crushes and rigorously shreds to conceive fully formed grotesqueries of debased brutality. Guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf wields her axe with the experienced slice of masked executioner quartering savage riffs and twisting leads alongside the thunder of guitarist Shelby Lermo. The abhorrent vocal (and lyrical) morbidity traded by imposing frontman Daniel Butler (Acephalix) and Abdul-Rauf (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Saros) continues to be the most formidable combination in death metal. The intimidating rhythm section of bassist Luca Indrio (Acephalix, Necrot) and drummer Adam Perry steer the war machine through the pooled blood and skull fragments scattered amidst the debauched iniquity of this peculiar hell. Three albums in, Vastum has honed their disturbed masochism into a sound manifestly their own and true to the core of the purest darkest death metal. Fans of Bolt Thrower, Grave, Death, Asphyx, Shroud Of The Heretic, Cruciamentum and the like are hereby on notice.

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