Inward To Gethsemane
Review by Michael on November 25, 2023.
On their fifth full-length album Inward To Gethsemane, Californian old-school deathers from Vastum travel with us on a very morbid and sick 38-minute trip through horrid visions and utter madness.
Starting with the very cozy title 'In Bed With Death' the listener gets sucked into a very gloomy, disturbing and malevolent atmosphere full of sick vocals, dissonant riffs and a very dense double-bass thunderstorm. The lyrics are absolutely sick as well and totally match with this creation straight out of hell. But if you thought that the quartet would blast through all of their seven songs, you were wrong. With the next one ('Priapic Chasms') they decreased the tempo so much so that the songs get a more death-doom atmosphere which spreads some very sick vibes though. Melodies and structures are, if any, secondary. Nevertheless the chaos sounds comprehensible and for sure this all is a rotten feast for everybody who likes death metal in the putrid, stinking way. In comparison to its predecessor Orificical Purge the band sounds very much fresher, inspired and destructive in the song writing. Where Orificial Purge was a very polished and almost friendly album by the band which didn't had too many of these uncompromising and disgusting parts, Inward To Gethsemane is stuffed with such elements. The vocals alone are so hateful and sick ('Stillborn Eternity' is a very good example of mixing together hateful, deep guttural vocals, high-pitched screams with some sung vocal lines) and the guitar solo full of madness and grief.
The songs are very tight and dense so that there doesn't give any time to relax or rest. In some aspects you can find some really catchy parts too but as I said before, there isn't too much space for melodies or other festive decorations on the album. The band is destroying everything that stands in their way, the relentless compositions grind down everything without mercy. 'Indwelling Archon' may be the best example for this. Starting very fast (and sounding like the decayed brother of old Death songs) this song turns into an avalanche of rotten flesh rolling down from the graveyard on the hill down into the valley and nobody can stop it.
The production is very well done, not over modulated, very well balanced and with a lot of power. This gives the album the matching flair to spread the atmosphere the band wanted to create: sick, evil and menacing. I would say that this album puts the band onto a new level and also pretty much raises the bar for the upcoming albums. Together with the new Cruciamentum one of the late highlights in sick OSDM in 2023.
Rating: 9 out of 10447