VAINHARHA - PUREMA
This band’s name comes out from the finnish word ‘Vainoharha’ which is the equivalent for paranoia. Usually, I avoid commenting on album covers or anything else apart from the music itself but this very album features an astonishing piece of work that deserves to be mentioned. What we have here is a digipack carton sleeve with an 8-page booklet picturing an amazing dark vintage landscape on its cover. The finnish music scene has to be a favourite of mine as well as many fellow Greek listeners, and this is no news, despite the Greek bankruptcy that keep us in the warm embrace of the German and the Dutch as well as the Finnish people, who also show their ‘love’ to us. Of course such things have nothing to do with Vainharha’s music but to my mind they have to be mentioned somewhere.
First of all, I cannot eliminate the fact that Purema’s production is totally flawless and reeks out professionalism in every single aspect of it. The lyrics have totally caught my attention, a very satisfying whole which is something that you don’t see in every band’s work lately, quite philosophical yet deep and melancholic, severely critical as they may seem, they aim straight to the heart with shattered bits of irony thown here and there. Getting down to the music now, we face a stripped down rock record but but with a punchy touch. Illusions, feelings of (personal) revulsion and stress overwhelm this dark panorama, an atmosphere that may lead to a striking resemblance to the cover art that was mentioned above. This is more of a theatrical performance, one that the audience is unable to comprehend what they are about to witness, than just an album. Of course, this specific performance is aiming to the few ones that will devote the certain attention that this album demands in order to be ‘digested’. Those who choose to take the ‘mainstream’ path are not the ones who will spent a single moment putting much thought into what they listen, they are not going for quality, they long for a ‘smash hit’ to be entertained before they find another one. Sorry to disappoint you but ‘Purema’ has nothing in common with the aforementioned group of people. Therefore, I consider myself lucky to be ably to get my hands onto this dark and mysterious album of quailty standards, which I would characterise as an eerie disillusion. I may seem like a jerk but the thing is that you won’t come across such gems many times in your life, so please excuse my astonishment. Well, I will be serious from now on.
Closing this review, I would like to add that ‘Purema’ is an amazing album of high standards, great production and performances from musicians that are top professionals in their field but don’t forget, this album is not for the masses. I still would be confused if I had to categorize Vainoharha’s music. Is it gothic? No. Is it metal? No. Is it indie rock? The answer is no. Then what is it? That would be a reasonable question and the answer is quite wsimple. This is a rock album, done in their own way, a new perspective that may pave the way to new things in the slowly-decaying music industry of today. You either love in or hate it. I, for one belong to the first team, what about you?
2. Existence in Torment
3. Break This Curse
4. The River Flow
6. The Conclusion
9/10 Kostas Sotiriou