vainaja_kadotetut{a}Finnish folklore tells the tale of a small rabid cult in the 19th century, performing blasphemous actions on followers of old Finnish religions, including ritual sacrifice and burying innocent townsfolk alive. This small cult was discovered, and sentenced to die by fire on the altar in their own mansion, burned alive with most of their scriptures, save for one book which was left miraculously intact. Such is the story of Kadotetut, told by relative newcomers Vainaja. Svart Records labeled this as “one of the heaviest records ever made in the Finnish language,” and I’ll be hard pressed to disagree. This thing is a monster from start to finish.

After an extremely eerie start from intro “Lankeemus” (loosely translated:  “Fall”), complete with birds chirping, soft acoustic guitars, and some really ominous keyboards, “Väärän ristin valtakunta” (“Cross the Wrong Kingdom”) proceeds to kick your teeth in with its heavy dirgy doom-death transgressions. Do you like Celtic Frost in your doom? Want some Abhorrence with your Asphyx? Well, this album’s for you! Thick distorted chord bends, lurching funeral march drum patterns by Aukusti “The Gravedigger” Wainaa, and bassist Wilhelm “The Preacherman” Wainaa’s throaty growls will all command (and receive) your full attention.

The main draw, though, is the riffing of Kristian “The Cantor” Wainaa. There is practically no shortage of thick, chewy, addictive riffs on Kadotetut. He knows when to allow for breathing space in his assault (the fade-out riff on “Valon lapset” (“The Children of Light”)), how to bring out prime-era Morbid Angel creepiness (“Verinen lähde” (“Bloody Source”)), and when to go apeshit with the tremolo (the middle of “Risti kädessäni” (“Cross in Hand”)). The man isn’t all that flashy by any means, but my god, does he have a command for hooks and atmosphere. That, coupled with Wilhelm’s gutteral barkings in Finnish, is a recipe for pure atmospheric punishment.

Vainaja_2014aThe legendary Dan Swanö mastered the album, and gave Kadotetut the necessary heft required to evoke feelings of dread and doom, but at the price of dynamics. Simply put, this album is LOUD, even at lower volumes. That said, everything has an immeasurable beefiness about it, from Kristian’s “Tom G. Warrior on steroids” guitar tone to Aukusti’s subtle-as-an-angry-buffalo drumming. Another cause for concern is that, even though the album has no bad moments at all, it can wear on you a bit towards the end. Others may be put off by the fact that the album is entirely in Finnish. I think that works towards the band’s advantage, as it adds an air of mystery to the lyrics and overall vibe that Vainaja is giving off. Had the vocals been performed in English, I know it wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

May has been a pretty damn good month for metal. First with Vehemenz, and now this impressive debut from Vainaja. I came into Kadotetut with no expectations, and I was happily blown away by their atmosphere, their attention to detail (seriously, those promo pics and album cover are killer), and definitely by their songwriting and heaviness. Easily Best of 2014 material.


Rating:  4.0/5.0
DR:  5  |  Format Reviewed:  320KB MP3
Label:  Svart Records
Websites:  Official | VainajaFacebook
Release Dates:  EU: 2014.05.23 | NA: 05.27.2014

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  • I’m digging this. Nice review.

    • Grymm

      So good… and you are quite welcome!

  • I’ll give a listen to anything that Dan Swanö masters.

    • But DR 5. Ouch.

      • Grymm

        Yeah, first track kicked back as a DR10, so I thought “AWESOME!!!”

        Second track came back as DR4. Forewarned is forearmed. Though I heard the vinyl mix should be pretty good.

        • Atte Loikkanen

          I asked the label about this and they confirmed there is a dedicated master for the vinyl. Take my money.

          • Just wish we could get that dedicated master for vinyl as a digital file.

          • Atte Loikkanen

            But of course. I’ve been thinking if this method is kind of a push from the labels’ side to lure people back into a “proper” physical media away from currently worse sounding digital ones. Just maybe.

          • Chronic-Headache

            But what about us non-vinyl types who prefer the CD? (or just plain can’t afford to start vinyl)

          • James Ingold

            I’ll take your word for it; LP ordered. Here’s hoping the production matches what seems like the greatness of the music.

          • Atte Loikkanen

            It does. Since friday I haven’t listened to anything else but this (hasn’t left the platter) and the new Swans album. I had a good weekend.

          • It does.

          • And I get to review it! Yee-haw! (sorry for the gloat)

        • Bare in mind, the band has a say too! ;-)

          • Grymm

            Very true, and like I said, this will easily make my Top 10 this year. :)

        • ZOMG! Grymm, I don’t have your email address (I’m not sure why) but please, for the love of all things brutal and putrid, go here.

          https://vainaja.bandcamp.com

          FUCK YES!

          • Grymm

            Duuuuuuuuude…

            THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

            This sounds so much better (and I’ve got the vinyl as well). And thank YOU, Vainaja, for bucking industry trends. This album *still* gets heavy play over a year later!

          • New one is also going ot have a HDR release as well! MFi 1 Loudness War 0

  • Feeblejocks

    This sounds really good. Now I’ve just gotta wait for it to drop on Bandcamp …