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Rating:
6.5
Vainaja - Kadotetut
23 May 2014


01. Lankeemus
02. Väärän Ristin Valtakunta
03. Kahleiden Kantaja
04. Valon Lapset
05. Henkikaste
06. Verinen Lähde
07. Risti Kädessäni
08. Viimeinen Tuomio
09. Kadotettu


In case you've been living under a rock, within the past decade, "Finland" and "doom metal" seem to have almost become synonyms for each other. From the funereal howlings of bands like Tyranny and Wormphlegm, to the more bizarre projects like Aarni and Dark Buddha Rising, the country has become notorious lately for sonorous doom echoes from beyond the void of time. Sometimes these echoes can be impressive, and at other times dismissible. This year, Vainaja sit more towards the latter, with a few small sprinkles of the former.

Kadotetut sees Vainaja playing a relatively basic death doom style, well delivered, but honestly not very original. The tempo stays in a pretty moderate pacing for the majority of the album, only really picking up for a bit of a more extreme feeling on "Valon Lapset" and "Risti Kädessäni." While there are some catchy riffs and grooves going on throughout the album, ultimately they fail to build to any sort of a memorable type of climax, and sometimes feel as though they're there just for the sake of being there.

Negatives aside, what is interesting and original about Kadotetut (or at least slightly so) is the creative concept behind it. According to the band's Facebook page, it revolves around traditional Finnish rumors of a 19th century rural cult that spread chaos in the country among practitioners of older religions: sacrificing them, burying them alive, and other wacky shit. Vainaja take towards enhancing this horrific theme musically with some darkly melodic and ambient undercurrents, particularly on "Henkikaste," as well as both the opening and closing tracks. While this technique is effective, it feels greatly underdeveloped, and probably would have served the album a lot better had it been interwoven with the other, more death doom-oriented tracks, instead of simply standing alone by itself.

At the end of the day, though Vainaja's debut album has good songwriting, and a pretty cool lyrical idea at its heart, it lacks that sort of strong dynamic needed to connect to the listener on an intense, personal level. There is variety among the 9 tracks, but somehow not enough, and they can at many points feel as though they simply all blend together. For people who like a strong sense of cohesion to their music, this may be a plus, but to those who like a blend of multiple influences, it could be disappointing. Of the three Finnish death doom albums I've heard this year (the other two being from Kuolemanlaakso and Altar Of Betelgeuze), Kadotetut is easily the most forgettable. But all that said, it does show signs of room for improvement, and while I'm not overly impressed with Vainaja this time around, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them.

Maybe you'll enjoy it?

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Band profile: Vainaja
Album: Kadotetut


 



Written on 14.06.2014 by
Apothecary
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a master. But without innovation, it is a corpse."
-Winston Churchill
More reviews by Apothecary ››



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Erik M. - 14.06.2014 at 23:33  
Despite your low score, I'm going to give this a spin soon. Good to see you reviewing a death doom album for a change. I was a bit surprised by that, honestly.

Oh, and nice review. I actually read a review for a change, haha.
LeKiwi - 15.06.2014 at 00:03  
Apothecary - 15.06.2014 at 04:07  
Written by LeKiwi on 15.06.2014 at 00:03

Pic

I think I might be missing the point here
Apothecary - 15.06.2014 at 04:22  
Written by Erik M. on 14.06.2014 at 23:33

Good to see you reviewing a death doom album for a change. I was a bit surprised by that, honestly.

I do enjoy the style, I just haven't really explored it that much yet, and from what I have heard, it's a pretty hit or miss thing for me. I prefer the bands that go for more death metal than doom in the mix, otherwise it just feels like I'm listening to doom with growled vocals, which is really nothing overly exciting.
LeKiwi - 15.06.2014 at 04:53  
Written by Apothecary on 15.06.2014 at 04:07

I think I might be missing the point here

That's Tuomas Saukkonen, and he's not sure that Finland = doom metal...
Apothecary - 15.06.2014 at 07:17  
Written by LeKiwi on 15.06.2014 at 04:53

That's Tuomas Saukkonen, and he's not sure that Finland = doom metal...

There is certainly more to the country than death metal, and in recent years in particular, doom bands have been cropping up all over the place, hence my opening line.
LeKiwi - 15.06.2014 at 07:33  
Written by Apothecary on 15.06.2014 at 07:17

There is certainly more to the country than death metal, and in recent years in particular, doom bands have been cropping up all over the place, hence my opening line.

Indeed, I'm not sure why I posted that tbh...just the mood I was in I suppose I suppose because I haven't been in touch with that side of the genre, I see Finland as a massive farm of MDM.
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.06.2014 at 17:16  
Vainaja's debut is superior to anything ever released by Kuolemanlaakso.
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.06.2014 at 18:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 17:16

Vainaja's debut is superior to anything ever released by Kuolemanlaakso.

Wouldn't surprise me. Really don't understand the buzz around that Kuolemanlaakso release this year.
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.06.2014 at 18:25  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.06.2014 at 18:01

Really don't understand the buzz around that Kuolemanlaakso release this year.


Probably due to the Swallow The Sun vocalist doing the vocals in Kuolemanlaakso as well. Not that he or Swallow The Sun are anything great. But somehow StS is immensely popular.
Mr. Doctor - 15.06.2014 at 18:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 18:25
Not that he or Swallow The Sun are anything great. But somehow StS is immensely popular.

They are basically the backstreet boys of death/doom.
Erik M. - 15.06.2014 at 18:46  
Written by Apothecary on 15.06.2014 at 04:22

I do enjoy the style, I just haven't really explored it that much yet, and from what I have heard, it's a pretty hit or miss thing for me. I prefer the bands that go for more death metal than doom in the mix, otherwise it just feels like I'm listening to doom with growled vocals, which is really nothing overly exciting.


So it seems to me that you enjoy the less melodic death doom more. In that case, check out the "pure" death doom albums in my list. Most of those have a lot more death metal in their sound than the melodic ones (which admittedly sometimes have barely, if any, death metal in their sound).
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.06.2014 at 18:58  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.06.2014 at 18:41

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 18:25
Not that he or Swallow The Sun are anything great. But somehow StS is immensely popular.

They are basically the backstreet boys of death/doom.


They indeed are. Just look at how they are marketed (i.e. look at the promo band pictures)
Apothecary - 15.06.2014 at 19:09  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 17:16

Vainaja's debut is superior to anything ever released by Kuolemanlaakso.

That is strictly your opinion, and in regards to your other comments, I do not like them because of the Swallow The Sun association, hell, I had never even heard of STS before listening. Much more dynamic and variety to Kuolemanlaakso than to this debut.
Apothecary - 15.06.2014 at 19:15  
Written by Erik M. on 15.06.2014 at 18:46

So it seems to me that you enjoy the less melodic death doom more. In that case, check out the "pure" death doom albums in my list.

I'll get around to it, currently drooling over the new WITTR album, and I have a lot of drone albums on my list as well.
Erik M. - 15.06.2014 at 21:55  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 17:16

Vainaja's debut is superior to anything ever released by Kuolemanlaakso.


While I liked Kuolemanlaakso's album, it wasn't interesting enough to make me go back to it for a 2nd spin (I might still do that though). Spinning this one right now and so far I also think it's superior to Kuolemanlaakso. Very good/great stuff, though have yet to finish the whole thing.
Erik M. - 15.06.2014 at 22:17  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.06.2014 at 18:25

Probably due to the Swallow The Sun vocalist doing the vocals in Kuolemanlaakso as well. Not that he or Swallow The Sun are anything great. But somehow StS is immensely popular.


Yes, it's probably because of StS and the same vocalist that they're popular. While I'm nowhere near a big StS fan, I still think that apart from their last album they're a solid band. Especially the debut and Hope are great. Sadly their last album was pretty disappointing, as in 6.5 material (you probably hate it though, eh? ).

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