Vildhjarta - "Måsstaden" (CD)
"Måsstaden" track listing:
3. Eternal Golden Monk
7. Phobon Nika
8. Måsstadens Nationalsång
9. When No One Walks With You
10. All These Feelings
13. The Lone Deranger
Reviewed by Dasher10 on January 10, 2012
“Masstaden,” the eagerly anticipated debut from newcomer Vildhjarta, looks to be remembered as an establishing moment in the development of djent. There’s still one problem though; for as good as the music is, Vildhjarta don't do much to step out of the shadow of their main inspiration, making comparisons to Meshuggah at times a bit too accurate. Despite Vidlhjarta's reluctance to be anything other than a doomier Meshuggah, “Masstaden” is still an excellent album full of awesome riffs that has managed to hold my attention until Meshuggah's new album hits in March.
Even though "Masstaden" was written to be one long song, there are a few stand-out tracks, in particular "When No One Walks With You" and "Eternal Golden Monk." Both are among the heaviest tracks on the album and, yet, both show off exactly how awesome the riffs are. That said, it's not such a major improvement over the rest of the album that it detracts from "Masstaden" as a whole, since everything simply feels complete. Whatever anyone's opinions of Vildhjarta are, nobody can deny that the band is composed of excellent musicians who have a terrific grasp of songwriting.
Despite my issues with “Masstaden,” it's still a good record, or more accurately, there are enough awesome riffs on here to ensure that listeners get their money's worth. “Masstaden” isn't groundbreaking by anyone's standards, but it's still well crafted. The tracks flow together well, creating the illusion of one long song, which is impressive given how long “Masstaden” is.
While not the most groundbreaking djent album that I've heard, “Masstaden” is a good album from a new band that's more of a taste of what's to come, rather than a fully evolved sound. The clean vocals on "Traces" are a promising sign and hopefully, with time, Vildhjarta will evolve into something much greater. They have the talent; it's now just whether or not they have the creativity.
Highs: Good songwriting, enough djent riffs on here to bridge the gap between Threat Signal and Meshuggah
Lows: Clean vocals not used often enough, mostly just sounds like a doomier Meshuggah
Bottom line: Vildhjarta's debut album is good, but lacking in identity.
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