Vildhjarta - Måsstaden

Vildhjarta are a Swedish band who, according to Wikipedia, play “an aggressive Meshuggah-influenced djent style, characterised by harmonic minor progressions, dissonant staccato riffs, a very thin and mostly midrange guitar tone and a grand canyon style reverb on clean guitar parts.” That’s a bit technical sounding for my liking, I think I’d rather call it technical death metal and be done with it.

“Måsstaden” is their debut album, and as far as debut albums go this one sounds pretty impressive. The music is, as I mentioned, technical and heavy. It’s at times frenetic and choppy, maybe that is this so called djent style at play. While it prevents the music from having a smooth flow, it does sound interesting and makes the listener work a little. There are two vocalists, each using varying styles and pitches of harsh vocals. There are some occasional clean vocals as well.

The more I listen to this album I can’t help but compare this to what it might sound like if Korn were really, really heavy and played death metal. I guess I might add the avant-garde label to this as well. Maybe Wikipedia knows what it’s talking about after all lol. There are a lot of clean and quiet intros and there are also several instrumental tracks.

This is definitely a complex and interesting album and it falls into a category of music that I think really has to be studied to be truly appreciated. With only a few listens it is easy to hear that this is a good album, but to truly learn and appreciate it I think will take at least a handful more sittings. To me that sounds like a cop out, but really, I don’t think two runs through the album is enough to “get” this album. Casual dinner music this is not. So it seems I’ve got homework.