Burning Arrow by Vanum

Release date: August 25, 2017
Label: Eisenwald / Psychic Violence

I always like a solid introduction when first being introduced to a band, and sometimes an EP is just the right scenario for me to get my first taste. Such is the case with Burning Arrow from Vanum. I was aware of their previous offering, 2015’s full-length album Realm Of Sacrifice, but hadn’t had a proper listening experience of the band until this point.

Formed by K. Morgan (Ash Borer) and M. Rekevics (Fell Voices  /Vorde / Vilkacis), the duo creates an interesting and legitimate concoction of epic (and at times atmospheric) progressive black metal with pagan overtones, and a sound that sounds like a natural meeting of Bathory and Rotting Christ.

‘Watcher In The Eastern Sky’ opens up the EP with a very ominous tone and an almost doom-inspired brand of progressive black metal. It’s a streamlined sound that is heavy and brooding and is in no hurry to impress with instrumental theatrics.  It just flows really well and has a certain atmosphere about it.

‘Immortal Will’ follows the strong opener with more of an immediate jolt, with a great blackened bombast to start and draw attention to your ear holes. The main drive of the song is based in the relentless drum pattern, guitar picking and riffs gelling in perfect fashion. It goes from blast beats to a high-end pace which manages to avoid making the track sound one-dimensional.

‘Spring Of Life’ closes out the release, and does so with a morose and atmospheric quality to the song, and an emphasis on the guitar riffs and keyboard effects to accent the track. It’s a solid ending to a memorable sampling of the band’s sound.

This release gives off a certain haunting aura that really draws you in, and the ambiance takes a solid grip and doesn’t let go until the instruments go silent. I find that with a sound like this, the band can only grow and add to their musical landscape for years to come. Long compositions and determination in sound come forth in droves on this EP, and a continuance on this theme for future releases would definitely serve the duo well in fully encapsulating their overall might and dominating sound.

The instrumentation and delivery comes through the speakers defiantly and triumphant in delivery, and I’m incredibly excited to see where the future lies for this group.

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