|Review: Vainaja - Verenvalaja|
Label: Svart Records
Year released: 2016
Review online: October 15, 2016
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 4.56/5 (91.11%) (9 Votes)
Vainaja, a Doom/Death Metal trio from the dark and frost-raped lands of Finland, present this new album, titled Verenvalaja (which translates into Blood Caster in English), which is a conceptual album based on the book of the same name. Verenvalaja, which is presumably written by Wilhelm Waenaa, was a mystic figure of Finnish folklore. It is known that Wilhelm was one of the leading forces behind the 19th-century cult of Vainaja, spreading terror in rural Finland.
The concept story is very fascinating in itself, and when it's also wrapped around Vainaja's spine-chilling and eerie Doom/Death Metal approach, things get much sweeter yet more jaw-dropping very soon.
Without question, Vainaja have really taken their time to rip some unforeseen murky soils wide open on Verenvalaja, putting lots of emphasis on the song structures to get this conceptual story told right. I am not telling a lie, or exaggerating a bit when saying their second album blows their promising debut album, Kadotetut, out of the dark and acidic water. Here Vainaja have obviously done their best to find their own, well-distinctive sound, which is filled with all kinds of spine-trembling and corpse-shattering elements that don't leave you alone until the album has come to its end. This unholy marriage between chest-pounding Doom and excruciating Death Metal turns out to be a truly successful recipe in the hands of the trio, creating an almost soundtrack-ish feel of all kinds of unexpected horror and creepy terror. Verenvalaja stands out purely and proudly in its own merits; it's nearly a masterpiece of an album, as the song called "Usva", clocking in at the 10:55 minute mark, so convincingly proves.
Verenvalaja has also been mastered at Dan Swanö's Unisound Studios – just like the band's debut album – so expect no less but a solid production. Verenvalaja is meant to turn all the old tombstones upside down. Join the sinister and evil cult now!
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