Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vanum: "Realm Of Sacrifice"

Members of Ash Borer and Fell Voices have joined forces to form this band. The start of ripping into to is faster than most metal but not the blistering blast beats that are typical of black metal, though the get to those. Then slow into an actual melody that they ride out until the the final few minutes of the ten minute opener. The production is closer to more recent Fell Voices than Ash Borer, with the vocals at a coarse almost barked mid-range. The layering of guitar seems to be their strength. Things get off to a more subtle creeping atmosphere on "In the Immaterial Flame". The vocals get more feral, before they race off into a blinding blur of blast beats and the vocals sound more like an animal screaming out with rabies. At the five minute mark this converges into a reined in tremolo attack with copious amounts of double bass steam rolling the song along.T he song got off to a decent enough start before the momentum sends it rolling down hill faster than their legs can carry it. This is fairly common with black metal so if you just want something to smack you in the face this does much more than that. The formula is reversed here and the more restrained melody prevails in the songs final minutes before bestial howls bring chaos. Of all the songs the twelve minute "Convergence" is the longest. It opens with melancholy guitar that rings out into the re-verb heavy desert sky. Within two and a half minutes the blast beats can not wait though the do so in away that doesn't really crowd the guitar. The vocal come in with a commanding rasp the guitar droning gracefully beneath it. With this style of black metal it would be easier for this to become indistinguishable from their other projects but it has a darker identity of its own. However it is not to say that a song like "Convergence" doesn't find it self at times lost the chaos it creates.

 With "Realm of Sacrifice" if you are not paying attention it seems like a melodic break in the song that goes back into where the previous song left off though there is a little more deliberateness in the double bass to keep things from racing off for a minute. At eight minutes its the albums shortest song , at the five minute mark it allows more melody to be breathed into it. Overall if you are just looking for good blasting atmospheric black metal, these guys do know how not get too atmospheric where the song gets lost, in fact quite the opposite its when thing get going to furiously that the feet of the song comes out from under it, but this can be a problem with black metal in general this comes from those who really adhere hard and fast to the old Darkthrone school of black metal, which is classic, but not the identity for everyone much less the hundreds of black metal bands in my inbox every week. These guys to stand out from the crowd in the thoughtful mood and tones so I'll give them a 7.5.

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