Vainharha – Purema
By: Brett Spaceman
Vainharha are a Goth rock band from Finland whose name roughly translates as paranoia. Not sure if Purema qualifies as an album though. Its running time is shorter than many EPs. That said, the lavish digipak with lyric sheets merits mini-album status on design aesthetic alone. They care. Which is de rigueur for Goths of course.
Now here’s the thing, Vainharha deal in Goth rock. Not pop. This isn’t Bauhaus or The Cure we’re talking here. No happy clappy melodies with added (I invented Johnny Depp 30 years ago) cheekbones. No Sir, not here. Not Vainharha. These guys are more your molten tarmac vocalled, spike adorned, baby-eating Goffs. Run for the hills. Run for your lives. Okay, they aren’t Lordi, but you get the picture.
On paper, Finnish Goth Rock is a poor fit for my own personal tastes. Yet For its brief 25 minutes, Purema reveal a sensitivity and craftsmanship beyond any expectations I had. For the most part, these are morbid dirges of the most earnest kind. But there’s something here which elevates Vainharha into the realms of the interesting. Is it the sprinkling of electronics? Is it the way they take a familiar riff and twist it into something recognisably unrecognisable? (Check out ‘Scarred’) Maybe it’s easier to say that the Fins sensitivity wins the day.
Purema is a record for hardcore Goth fans only. It won’t change many lives but it will please many. Its target audience is probably more likely to be mainland Europe than UK or USA – sweeping generalisations I know, but if you see yourself in any of the above, give it a chance.