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CD Review: VILDHJARTA – Måsstaden

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Vildhjarta are a Swedish troupe of double vocalled, triple guitared Swedes with a large drumkit and a souped up bass. They sound like a darker, more disjointed Meshuggah with lashings of prog and a sprinkling of deathcore. Their new concept album Måsstaden is a fable about an unknown and isolated village, a moral tale of darkness and light. The album artwork depicts strange looking mice smoking pipes and gnarled trees hiding woodland animals with walking sticks and dark looking grimoires.

The dark downtuned tuned forest of dense chugging guitars surround more delicate scintillating higher pitched picked notes which overall creates a twisted and unique contrast in terms of texture and tonality. Heaviness and light ambiance fuse to create a sonic catharsis of disfigured rhythms and clean picked notes. The growled vocals seem a lot rougher compared to those on previous album Omnislash; which is slightly less heavy but just as deliciously technical. Clean vocals often battle with the growled ones which constructs a Jekyll and Hyde conversational double narrative to tell the strange story of the album.

Måsstaden is stunningly beautiful and filled with a dark energy that is often hard to find in the copycat genre in which Vildhjarta are boundary pushers. This album is perfect for those in need of a fast and furious djent fix with the occasional unexpected interlude that will take you by surprise.  This record is more piqued and melancholy than Omnislash, this is a rich and refreshingly less generic masterpiece of light and shadow in texture and sound. Vildhjarta still include their gorgeous ambient interludes before throwing you back into the storm of clashing guitars and layered poly-rhythmic tapestry. If you like meshuggah, Animals as Leaders or the works of Misha Mansoor, then this album is perfect for you.


1. Shadow
2. Dagger
3. Eternal Golden Monk
4. Benblåst
5. Östpeppar
6. Traces
7. Phobon Nika
8. Måsstadens Nationalsång
9. When No One Walks With You
10. All These Feelings
11. Nojja
12. Deceit
13. The Lone Deranger

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