Vastum – Inward to Gethsemane

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After a four-year hiatus, California’s death metal super group Vastum brings back its vile cavernous filth style of death metal, “Inward to Gethsemane” which is the band’s fifth album is slated for a release date on November 10th 2023. Featuring members from Acephalix, Mortuous, Necrot, and Ulthar, the new album contains seven tracks that follow the monolithic template of Vastum’s vicious sound.

The utter brutality and the dual repulsive growls and the devilish snarls of Daniel Butler, and guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf create a gruesome backdrop of hostility in the opening track “In Bed With Death”. Grimy caveman riffs and the grinding drums played at a frantic pace clash between the percussive intensity of Chad Gailey and the quality that is infectiously crushing. The guitar solos are spontaneous, and they create a massive wall of sound, almost conjuring up a malicious feel on the following track “Priapic Chasms”. Vastum’s lyrical contents wildly connect with sexuality, offering a rabid philosophical view on eroticism and death.

The cold sadistic atmosphere of the album captivates the senses and at the same time, Vastum burgeons its bludgeoning power. The primitive riffs of Shelby Lermo channeled from the bottomless pits of hell and exploded into frenetic solo passages. The guitar work, including the turbulent tone of Colin Tarvin’s bass guitar, has a tremendous echoing boom against morbid gore-soaked growls. The burst of the death grind drumming has a consistent flow of energy and is injected into the framework of the songs. The drums are brutal and plowing through the focused riffing, Vastum’s fifth album offers plenty of rabid tempos, making it somewhat balanced between the grooves and raw death metal savagery.

Despite the similarities to Acephalix, and Necrot there is a cavernous mix of early Autopsy sound, the guitar has its raw and filthy stench of old school the songs follow the signature sound of Vastum. “Stillborn Eternity” emphasizes the macabre samples and the rotten heaviness of the riffing, which is utterly groovy, meaty, and fucking brutal. Taking the mid-paced approach, the guttural growls are rather perfect as there are some elements of sludge and a melodic guitar solo that make “Inward To Gethsemane” a typical Vastum album.

Songs like “Judas” serve as a slow intro to the song “Indwelling Archon” which builds up a bleak atmosphere of sluggish guitars and gradually explodes into a volcanic eruption of murky death metal riffs. The mid-paced tempo is brought by a massive power with the guttural growls and frenzied riffing that moves slowly through a sludgy tempo. The evil morbidity reeks in, despite the songs of the album being played in a mid-paced plodding manner there seems to be a great deal to the menacing atmosphere.

Meanwhile, “Vomitous” is a perfect example of how Vastum focuses on the slow pace and there’s a sense of brutality that explores the new side of the band. The fusion of cavernous riffs maintains the heavy bludgeoning sound of the album as can be heard from the chunky rhythm, however the band puts less emphasis on melodies. “Inward To Gethsemane” showcases a superb raw exercise in death metal from the band and there is a higher standard of songwriting in comparison to the 2019 album “Orifical Surge”.

The old-school morbid sound constantly churns out punishing drum beats despite the range of the guitar riffs, there is also an emphasis on the brooding guitars in the final track “Corpus Fractum”. It begins with heavy bulldozing riffs with the constant focus on double bass kicks, the lead guitar section adds an eerie sense of paranormal darkness. The slow riffing is well-structured and creates an ominous theme of death. Being one of the longest tracks in the band’s albums, the guitars maintain the heavy pace and at some point. The atmosphere of the song becomes coated with ominous samples that send shivers down the spine when the pacing kicks into the heavy, plodding drums that give us some creepy riffs.



  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10

Vastum’s fifth album “Inward To Gethsemane” is the band’s best offering in both quality and composition, this is a thrilling morbid manifestation of caveman death metal riffs.

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