Vanum – “Burning Arrow” mini LP Review

Burning Arrow MLP by Vanum – atmospheric black metal from the USA

I swear that there is a third wave of black metal currently active.  Take a look at bands like Isrike and Degesch for example.

But now we have Vanum and their so0n-to-be released new EP, Burning Arrow on Psychic Violence Records.  This EP will be released on April 1 on digital and LP formats.

But back to this idea of a “third wave” of black metal.  By now, everyone knows that the first wave was defined by bands like Venom and Bathory.  The second was defined by bands like Darkthrone, Burzum and Emperor.

So, maybe the third wave could possibly be defined by more memorable song structures, catchy riffs, and possibly hints of melody or maybe even more use of major chords and less use of minor chords.  Sure it’s speculation but there’s an awful lot of bands now arriving that could substantiate even some of that.

Enter Vanum; a product of K. Morgan of Ash Borer and M. Rekevics of Fell Voices/Vorde/Vilkacis –   “Concise, cutting and ablaze with warlike intention” (PVRecords).

My only problem with this release is that there is only 3 songs.  I suppose, however that gives an even better reason to check out Vanum’s first release, Realm of Sacrifice.

At times the vocals remind me a bit of my favorite death metal growler, Martin VanDrunen of Asphyx.  You also have some of the traditional elements of black metal without the production that sounds like it was recorded using a baby monitor for amplification or the drums sounding like they were made up of metal cans (i.e. Goatlord by Darkthrone). Burning Arrow is a pretty well-produced release while still maintaining some raw character and an effective, not over-done use of keyboards in the backdrop.  There’s a nice mix of fast and mid-paced beats as well.

Nutshell version: traditional/non-traditional elements, balance between simple & diverse, strong, sweeping, atmospheric and leaving one with a hope there are more bands in this “third” wave of black metal.

I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys do next.

Burning Arrow out April 1, on Psychic Violence records.

Track List:

  1. Watcher in the Eastern Sky
  2. Immortal Will
  3. Spring of Life

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