VANUM – Burning Arrow, MCD
Digipak with gold ink and fold-out lyric insert
Burning Arrow is the second release from Vanum, the collaborative project of K. Morgan (Ash Borer, Predatory Light) and M. Rekevics (Fell Voices, Vilkacis, Vorde). Following their debut album, Realm of Sacrifice, released on Profound Lore Records, the Burning Arrow EP reveals a band both expanding their sonic palette and rigorously seeking the distillation of their own essence.
Though the sound of the band hasn't ultimately changed wildly, there have been key shifts that distinguish this release from not only Morgan and Rekevics' other bands, but also Vanum's own previous output. The duration of the individual songs, as well as the arc of the entire mLP, have been streamlined and trimmed of all fat. A muscularity and sense of triumphant might define the composition. This increased focus on riff-craft, embraced while managing not to eschew atmosphere, reveals the significant influence of classic Hellenic black metal alongside the furious Slavic sound that has consistently been a part of Vanum's musical identity. This new sonic influence, paired with a more belligerent and outward looking lyrical approach, serve to create an aura of bombastic power and arrogant glory; a marked contrast to the largely melancholy and inward looking mood and concept of the previous album.
Perhaps ultimately, the name of the release is the most convenient illustration of it's own essential qualities. Realm of Sacrifice was marked by both the sorrow and endurance evoked and demanded by the rite of ritual sacrifice, while Burning Arrow is exactly what it's own namesake would also suggest; Concise, cutting, and ablaze with warlike intention. The sharpened point of Vanum.
1. Watcher in the Eastern Sky (08:58)
2. Immortal Will (06:46)
3. Spring of Life (09:05)