Filling you with feelings of despair and dread is Vainaja and their newest release titled Verenvalaja. This newest offering tells a six chapter story based on the book that is also titled Verenvalaja which tells of Wilhelm Waenaa which perhaps tells the story of the resurrection of Wilhelm or another human who calls themselves the Blood Caster. This six track release is a cohesive and coherent and vivid story based off of this book, and throughout you feel chills and you feel a certain dread set in as though you are the next to be called to the grave.
Vainaja from the very beginning does a great job of setting a certain tone and sticking to it, and that tone is something that is deadly and completely soul swallowing. Their brand of doom intertwined with death metal is accosting and abrasive as they lay on the deadly and sickening tones on very thick. With the progression of each song you feel your soul begin to sink and you feel a dark and dismal fog set in and consume you in one fell swoop. Each of the six songs is a slow moving reaper headed straight for you and within each beady eyed deathly stare of each song you know that death is imminent.
Verenvalaja as a whole is a glacier slow dirge of hypnotic and deadly music that entangles you in its story and encompasses and shrouds you in uncertain darkness. There is something about this release that is wholly sinister and evil and all throughout Vainaja doesn’t back off of their overly evil tones. The atmosphere that you ultimately get sucked into is dismal, abyssal and soul corrupting and there isn’t a place that you can run to to hide from it. As intense and sinister as this record is, it is also hypnotic as Vainaja pulls you in with their great story telling and great sense of ambiance and atmosphere.
From beginning to end this release rumbles along swiftly like death coming to claim the next (un)fortunate soul. Generally “blistering” is a word used for songs that are skin melting and flesh tearing, but blistering could be used here as well as your soul becomes blistered and your flesh does seem to drip and melt away from your stark white bones. More often than not each song is played at a blood freezing pace, but when needed Vainaja picks the tempo up to provide you with death metal rompings of the head caving nature. These gents mix both death metal and doom very well together to create something that is entirely crushing and organ rupturing.
Throughout Verenvalaja you get riffs that are a seeming solid wall of down tuned sound that transition between slow brain eviscerating dirges and quicker neck snapping death metal onslaughts. To be paired with the devastating riffs is the bass that provides a sturdy back bone to each song as well as a nice earth rumbling sound. The drumming is solid and hits you right in the chest as you feel it thumping away at your ribs. Seeping from what seems to be a desecrated crypt are the vocals that roar and grumble with the certain stench of death.
Verenvalaja is shrouded in dread and mysticism and what Vainaja does very well is suck you right into the story and into the deep doom labyrinths from which you will never be seen again. This release is intense, captivating and incredibly dark. Vainaja spins a great story based off of Finnish folklore and not only is the music heavy, but the atmosphere to go along with it is dense and suffocating. Verenvalaja is a tour de force from these Finnish natives and isn’t something that is meant to be taken lightly.
Verenvalaja will be out May 27, 2016 through Svart Records.