Song of the Day: Vainoa, “Vainot Eivät Pääty Koskaan,” from Pelon Varjo (Self-Released, 2021)

Helsinki, Finland quintet Vainoa—self-described as "new generation blackened hardcore"—has released a couple of EPs since forming in 2016, and their latest, Pelon Varjo, does indeed drag that Tragedy branch of driving, crusted, metal-tinged hardcore/punk into slightly more extreme territory. In large part it's the use of speed and vocal textures that lend a black/grind hybrid type of edge to the material, but tracks such as opener "Näytä Kuolemasi Minulle" actually do dive into some crawling dissonant riffs and seething tremolo picking runs. As another sign of their range of influences, the EP closes with an equally doomy-yet-raging seven-minute cover of Finnish post-punk outfit Musta Paraati, which is quite striking, I must say.

It was tough to decide which track to highlight here. I almost went with "Ääni Sen Menettäneille," which is a little more straightforward in that head-on Tragedy niche, but ended up landing on "Vainot Eivät Pääty Koskaan" since it spices up that approach with some chunkier rhythms and quirky discordance that better demonstrates Vainoa's angle on this corner of the genre.

At least for now, find Pelon Varjo digitally via Bandcamp or Spotify. It's possible that a physical release will see the light at some point in the future...