Vildhjarta’s been making waves in the djent scene for quite some time, despite their less than prolific release schedule. Their 2009 EP Omnislash made huge waves for them. However, we’re now two years removed from that release and we now have their new album Måsstaden ready for listening. A lot has happened in the past two years, particularly the explosion of the djent scene which has many standouts (Periphery, TesseracT, etc). Do Vildhjarta stand head and shoulders above the rest, or do they fall with the other technical bands?
Simply put, Måsstaden is brilliant…if you liked Meshuggah’s Catch Thirtythree. Here’s the deal: Måsstaden is a continuous piece, told like a fable. Therefore you have to listen to the entire album all at once to truly get the effect that the album has. There are interludes in the record that quite simply don’t make sense on their own.
However, there are some standout moments here. Benblåst is ferocious. I do believe that that’s the one part of this whole piece that many aggressive metalheads can get into because of just how abrasive it is. Likewise, All These Feelings gets pretty ridiculous. But unlike Benblast, this one has to be enjoyed with the context of the album.
Another thing I have to make note here is the sheer amount of members in this band: three guitarists, two vocalists, a bassist, and a drummer. I can safely say that it fits to have all of these members, so don’t let that intimidate you. In terms of vocals, one of them focuses on higher growls while the other focuses on lower more closed growls. This is definitely not a Despised Icon-esque situation where the two vocalist thing isn’t necessary. The guitars sometimes give me the illusion that their point is in numbers, but the acoustic parts change that pretty quickly. With someone playing something more mellow in the background, it really gives Vildhjarta a more unique sound.
In closing, if you love Meshuggah, you’ll like this album. If you love Catch Thirtythree, you’ll love this album and you rightfully should. Although this album carries the whole “listen to the whole album” vibe that Catch Thirtythree did, it’s by no means a knockoff. However, if you don’t like djent or anything the scene is putting out, you probably won’t like this. Vildhjarta is by no means revolutionary…yet. But this album is certainly a cut above most of the scene.
We had the privilege of interviewing Calle Thomer, one of their guitarists. We asked him about the recording process of the album, how it is touring with seven members, and what he thinks of Lulu, the new Metallica album. The answer is shocking.
1. How did Vildhjarta get started?
2. What exactly does the term “thall” mean?
3. What’s changed between your 2009 EP Omnislash and now?
4. What’s the concept behind Måsstaden?
5. This album flows a lot like Meshuggah’s Catch Thirtythree album. Was that something you all planned on?
6. Given the concept behind Måsstaden, I can see how your videos would play a component in that. With that said, how much creative control did you have over the videos for Benblåst and Dagger?
7. How do the logistics of having seven members in your band affect recording and touring?
8. Do you all intend to tour behind Måsstaden?
9. What did you all think of Lulu?