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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vildhjarta - Masstaden review

Year : 2011
Genre : Djent with ambient elements
Label : Century Media
Origin : Sweden
Rating : 6.5 / 10

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Sweden Vildhjarta - geSUNtheit, Mein Herr - invades your receptors with a concept album that embraces its narrative influences from the Jungle Book and the video role playing game Final Fantasy VII. On paper, this band plays djent, in reality, a good amount of this sounds like pretty disturbed metalcore warfare to me, and here is why : that massive chunk of this baby is gravitating around the continuous act of scattering/littering artificially "portioned" djent patterns around on top of mid-tempo metalcore rhythms, but all the good will in the whole wide world would be less than enough to keep your poker face intact while attempting to regard ALL the content herein as really-really intricately rhythmized.


A healthy amount of this release sounds like heavily syncopated metalcore, - without the corporal punishment choruses, luckily - and the things it looks way better than just that with, are not ever-present on it, unfortufuckingnately.

This almost exclusively is a mid-tempo release, and it is hard to get rid of the feeling that the record shows everything it has the capacity to show right in the first 5 minutes of it. And you are wrong about it, too, because Masstaden has its 10 minutes of strongest offerings at its climax, and these deliveries are more flamboyant builds than you could realistically hope for by witnessing the massively metalcorish start and the middle region of this relatively lopsided declaration.

Combine the - usually - not too risky, nor too inventive schizo rhythm patterns with your everyday average metalcore bonobo screaming, - sometimes complimented by a more death metalish growl, so what. - add half a minute of smoke on the water ambient interlude every 5 minutes, and you have a precise impression of this contribution, which would pack much more entertainment value and relevance if to bring more of what it looks best with. Read on to find out more about this release.

Vildhjarta starts out efficiently enough, but, as hinted, it has a limited initital supply to offer true relevance beyond syncopated rhythmic attractions, and probably this is the reason that the best parts of the spin will start to engage your receptors well beyond the midsection. This LP also contains ambient interludes, but they rarely serve other purpose than to sedate the miserable with alibi-glitter when the monster in the djent would be a risk to awake. Actual musical development and relevant variation is not ever-evident on this spin, which makes me an unhappy boy.

The starting portion of Vildhjarta's Massteden is one, single, psychotic song composed of muted/released shrapnels of deep chugs, but no, they do NOT reveal all too complex or exciting rhythms as they want you to recognize them as. Fear not, Sunshine! After the track 8th mark - oorgle! - things turn to the better, because there is only 1 dosage of bonobo screaming you need to endure before the LP finally starts to negotiate its Cream De La Cream, pha.

Track number 10, called "All These Feelings" finally starts out with an inventively rhythmized riff, in fact, so inventively rhythmized, that the band instead drops it after a minute, and escapes to ambient arpeggio. Auuuua. The release has a stronger period nevertheless in the ending portion, track number 12 "Deceit" once again features delicious, odd rhytmization you can finally take serious because it gives you the same courtesy, but, to be honest, the bonobo screaming that joins in, ruins the experience for me. "Emencely".

Though Vildhjarta's Masstaden could very easily be decipherable as a record that repeats itself over and over and over and over in the same sonic frequency, - probable courtesy of the lowest possible note being banged mercilessly on an 8 stringed guitar - there are elements on it that are better than they sound first. Yet, as a full spin, above average at BEST.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

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  1. i couldn't disagree with this review more

  2. I hoped you would elaborate. All opinions are important, and mine is not more valid than yours.

  3. Wow, some people are born this way I guess. I feel sorry for your inability to interpret sonic genius.

  4. No, only Lady Gaga is born that way. I'm delighted about your false interpretation of sonic genius.

  5. I realize upon reading your comment you expect constructive criticism of some fashion on this review. I agree that your opinion is important but I was honestly speechless upon reading this.

    What confuses me about this is your claim that the band is full of boring metal-core'esque chugging and uninteresting rhythms. I don't quite understand where this is coming from. This appears to me to be standard fair for Djent except for the exceedingly long pauses. I suppose one of the most interesting things about the album would have to be the insane guitar tone they manage to produce. I especially enjoy the strange guitar sounds that are somehow fitting and yet obviously out of place. This is extremely evident on, "When No One Walks With You" and "All These Feelings". Which also happen to be the best songs on the album imo.

    Normally this isn't the kind of music I would reach for but this is such a strange, yet attractive album I have found myself listening to it many times over. I don't like metalcore and I think you should be more specific on how exactly this sounds like metalcore. Anyway, I hope this is a better response than my earlier insult. Cheers!

  6. Alright... let's come to a mutual understanding about WHY your opinion sucks.

    Let's start with the vocals. If you REALLY want to be precise about what is going on here, Vildhjarta is employing the now popular high/low dual vocal approach popularized by The Black Dahlia Murder. The tones of the vocalists are indeed more deathcore in tone but certainly not metalcore.

    Second of all, the reason this album is mid paced in the way it is is because A: Playing this kind of shit with this much syncopation would be quite difficult and B: Because Vildhjarta wanted to integrate the hypnotic groove produced by dubstep and hiphop into their sound to give it a slight edge over their peers. This is evident even in the vocal lines which have a rhythmic attack similar to rap groups of the 80's.

    Also the chugging on this album is not much, especially if you compare it to their use of highly unusual sounds and eerie sounding contorted bends they often apply. Djent is rhythmic music in the first place, to fault it for being rhythmic, even if that involves "chugging" (which isn't what is done here) is stupid.

    Also this isn't fucking metalcore. There is no traditional hardcore sections, no breakdowns that aren't heavily wrapped in a thick layer of syncopation and no back-to-the-basics melodeath riffs going on.

    Musically uneducated this review is.

  7. Also it should be noted that this album was written in chunks, not on a song by song basis. The ambient pieces on here are normally serving as intros for the next 2 to 3 tracks which are actually one big song.

  8. @Brent :
    I never said it was "boring metalcore", I just didn't find the majority of the rhythmic patterns all THAT inventive or surprising. Give Blotted Science's latest EP a try, which I think is very cunningly rhythmized, although a solely instrumental spin.

    @Themadisraeli :
    You have a valid point about "chugging" being an incorrect word in this context, as the djent is produced by muffling the strings. Still, I tend to think that the album has a weaker beginning and mid-section, and keeps its most delicious moments at its climax. The layered vocals here do not strike me as something all that new, Pantera did that on Far beyond driven, and that release is from 1994 if I'm not mistaken.

    Valid point again on the need of syncopated mid-tempo. But, how much fun should one harvest by being subjected to syncopated mid-tempo for relentless eternities? As I wrote in the review, the release in my opinion suffers from the fact that a healthy amount of it occupies the very same sonic register, and I think it is super-prone to repeating itself. And I still think it has a stronger, more inventive and relevant end section than it sports as a beginning-and mid section.

    I realize tagging this album with "metalcore" was a mistake, because this release indeed is free from key metalcore elements like the salivated choruses. I will change the genre definition after wrapping up this comment. Your last sentence was pretty devastating to read, but I realize the review indeed contained communication noise.

    Thank you for both of your comments, I think they have made this review more complete.

  9. Djent is something I am not familiar with. So I am enjoying this review and the comments. I learnt couple of new things and thankful for the info. Cheers and keep rocking.

  10. this review was fucking stupid and u should be shot for calling vildhjarta boring metalcore. fucking asshole eat shit

    1. Don't forget to take your pill today, Anakin.


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