The raw energy and triumphant power of this band and their live show are only matched by the sensation of crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you. Maybe by the glare of their burning villages, too.
Favorite track: Immortal Will.
Digital release April 1, 2017. LP release in mid-may (pre-orders will go up at the same time digital goes on sale).
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.
Recorded and mixed by Andrew Oswald.
Mastered by Dan Lowndes.
Cover Art by Todd Ryan White.
Watcher in the eastern sky.
Hunter slain, but risen again.
Our lady of dissolution, ruling over catastrophe.
Burning arrow, drawn and ready to ignite the poison sea.
At the shores of the seething wild, a rising tide.
Waves of fire herald the coming dawn.
A sinking foundation gives way beneath crumbling walls.
Drowned in flame, scattered as ash.
Celestial androgyne standing above the tumult,
Watching as the horizon falls.
All is seen, and all is within reach.
Track Name: Immortal Will
Incant the spirit-self,
The reflected being of shadowed dreamings;
The mirrored other of buried eternities.
Incant this demon and become.
Thought form made flesh in the fortress of twilight.
Screaming birth in blood and fire.
Born of fire.
Willed into being.
Draw strength from chaos and rule as a god.
Manifest archaic horror.
Embrace the atavistic panic that ruled before
The original darkness and silence.
Ancient beast, avenging angel.
My immortal will.
Track Name: Spring of Life
For those who dare to live.
For those who live to struggle,
By torchlight, through snowfall,
Amidst the storm of infinite, unyielding night.
"Around them hovered the relentless fates,
Beside them, battle incarnate onward pressed.
Yelling, and from their limbs
Streamed blood and sweat."
Blood in the eyes and fire in the heart.
Strike the bells with the hammer of hell.
Rend the temple and split the ground.
May the spring of life rise through the cracks
Nourish resolve and drown their foes.