ALBUM REVIEW: Vastum – Inward To Gethsemane


For those unaware, there has been a resurgence in metal when it comes to unsettling, haunting noise and eerie, sonically paralyzing sound. 

As for Vastum, the Oakland quintet knows full well how to get their sounds to mimic actual nightmares. Inward To Gethsemane (20 Buck Spin) features seven tracks of equally creepy machinations. It’s Death Metal in nature, but there is much more to it.


Taking obvious influence from early Christianity (Gethsemane being a garden where Jesus Christ was tortured prior to his arrest and later crucifixion), standout track “Corpus Fractum” sees guitar tones spiraling into the abyss, leading the listener into their own special hell. 


It devolves into a mystical, slow-chanting house of horrors that feels cultish at times. Thumping percussion only adds to the scene and aims to transport everyone into an entirely different realm that is neither familiar nor comforting. 


Odd time signatures (“Priapic Chasms”) and an uneasy interlude (“Judas”) persist throughout, which is not to say Inward To Gethsemane is overly reliant on atmosphere. “Stillborn Eternity” features marching drum lines and “Indwelling Archon” musters a strong cadence and is rounded out by intense weight and girth. But an err of malaise is certainly achieved. 

Voice clips sprinkled in here and there (which more often than not can effectively add to the histrionics) are certainly a plus in this writer’s opinion. And the fact that Vastum need not lean on overly distracting artificial noises to successfully get their message across is a favorable sign.


Thick, flickering riffing and an ever-present haze finds Vastum’s latest release fitting quite nicely into 20 Buck’s murky catalogue. And it’s no surprise considering the outfit is the longest-running band on the label. 


With acts like Body Void especially pushing the envelope in terms of fucking hellacious noise music that challenges the psyche, Vastum contributes their take on death metal that emphasizes the death. Inward To Gethsemane is your own personal green mile. 


Buy the album here:


7 / 10