Vainaja
Verenvalaja

The Three headed Finnish Death Doom Monster have returned with their second full-length record Verenvalaja. Verenvalaja translates into Blood Caster – the twisted one derailing the flow of life to stream towards his own creation. For those not familiar with Vainaja’s 2014 debut Kadotetut,  Vainaja play a style of concept death doom that is rooted in 19th century Finnish Folklore. With each member of the group having a title like: “The Gravedigger, “The Cantor’ and “The Preacherman” there is definitely no shortage of theatrics with this group and they have put together a very entertaining forty four minutes of ritualistic death doom.

What impressed me about Vainaja’s debut record was how incredibly heavy and thick the overall production was. Dan Swano’s influence was clearly made.  With Verenvalaja off the bat I do not get that initial oomph that I did with Kadotetut but the material on this release is much more varied and diverse. Each track seems to be it’s on separate Chapter in describing the resurrection of Wilhelm. The opening track “Risti” builds right away in creating a dismal and bleak ambience that is present throughout. There also are much more “ritual” clean vocal passages on this album and It is also refreshing to hear guitar solos.  Each track or chapter seems to deal with different themes of the undead figure Wilhelm or Bloodcaster for tells. “Risti” which translates to cross goes over Wilhelm’s process of committing blasphemy. Chapter 2 or “sielu” (Soul) deals with Wilhelm’s rituals involving human sacrifice and so forth.   Each of the first five tracks seems to tie along sequentially until “Kehto” the last track. “Kehto” ends very open ended which apparently leads historians to believe that there are to be further continuations of the story of Wilhelm and Vainaja.

If Hooded Menace were Finland’s Horror Movie death doom band then Vainaja would be like a cross of Portal meets Incantation in their approach to death doom.   This album is supposed to be a prologue to many other future chapters in the realm of Wilhelm and with as meticulous as each album seems to be with this group it is exciting to hear where the evolution of Vainaja is going. One thing is for sure these guys are clearly metal as fuck and have distinct passion for the way in which they use story telling to tie in to their compositions.

Overall, this is a very entertaining sophomoric effort and is top-notch continuation from their debut. As much as I wish that the guitars were as up in the mix as their last release Verenvalaja is just as enjoyable as Kadoteut and maybe even more so in that the murkier production seems to fit the music better. Vainaja have a unique sound in a scene that is cluttered with bands trying to play a similar style but with nowhere near the amount of attention to detail that these guys do.  It is still relatively early in 2016 but this one is definitely high on my list so far.  I recommend everything this group has done so far and I really look forward to where Vainaja is going to create next.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
June 14th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I seriously read this band’s name as “Vajina” because I’m a shithead.


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    also, “sophomore” effort, not “sophomoric.” the latter is a negative descriptor.


  3. Commented by: Nick K

    Thanks for the feedback.


  4. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    That should be “Nick Grammar” instead of “Nick Taxidermy” ;)


  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    hahaha, you know it.


  6. Commented by: Nick K

    What are your thoughts on this album and group?


  7. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    it’s good! gnarly as hell slow-ass doom. I like it. and I’m sorry, I’m not trying to pick on you or ignore your review! have you ever listened to Catacombs? You might like them if you like this…minus the more melodic components


  8. Commented by: Grymm

    I cannot heap enough praises on these guys. Both Kadotetut and now Verenvalaja are beasts, and Vainaja are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands out there right now.

    Highly recommended for anyone into suffocating death/doom.


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