Sound — 8
The new wave in music that have been labled with 'Djent' has produced some interesting bands. Most famous of these bands is probably Textures who use the Meshuggah-like riffing/drumming and traditional heavy/prog metal base to make some truly excellent music. TesseracT is another good band who use a similar formula but focus on creating massive soundscapes rather than proper headbang material. Vildhjarta are what could be considered the standard for djent music with a style they call 'Ambi-djent' (mix of ambient and djent). They combine the slow tempos and polyrhythmic riffing of Meshuggah but add heavily reverbed/delayed guitar with melodic notes to add soft, eerie backdrops to the otherwise heavy riffage. On top of the Meshuggah-esque vocals is some well executed cleans as well, which is becoming a staple in djent bands (Textures, Tesseract, Xerath for example). As the band are fairly new and don't have much material, each recorded song has a different tonality to it. 'Omnislash' has a very distinctive style for the two songs that are on it. This can be seen in the guitar tone for the record which is incredibly trebly and over-distorted. This fits the music in a way but would sound terrible in any other genre (except perhaps Black metal). The mix is also lacking in bass even though the bass guitar is heavily distorted as well and the bass drums have a very thick and heavy sound. It is the definition of sonic razor wire and honestly, its brilliant.
Lyrics — 8
Taken from the song 'Shiver': There's a pain much greater than anyone, you can feel it through your skin Greater than broken bones, cut up flesh, or anything physical When the fabric of your soul is torn to shreds by yourself, Or by others, its torture The lyrics of both songs from 'Omnislash' focus on personal struggles and the feelings that are conveyed through them. The lyrics are pretty catchy during the clean sections and don't sound awkwardly placed in the music which seems to be a problem for other djent bands (because of the nature of polyrhythms). Vocal wise, the first time listening to 'Shiver' I couldnt really distinguish the growled vocals from Jens Kidman of Meshuggah. Like Meshuggah, the work well with the dissonant and unmelodic riffs of the music. The cleans offer a nice contrast to the growled vocals and are used for the choruses.
Overall Impression — 8
Vildhjarta have created the link between Meshuggah and the other up-and-coming djent bands. 'Omnislash' is sadly merely a taster of the full debut album coming out this year but both songs featured on it are sample listening material (and if not, then there are unfinished instrumental tracks on their myspace to listen to). As 'Omnislash' is a demo/EP, it only contains 2 finished songs: 01. Shiver 02. Dont fail me now (Lady Luck) which both are pretty monumental on their own. 'Omnislash' is only available as a digital download from iTunes or (free) from Vildhjarta's myspace which sort of speaks for their popularity/recognition. However, they do shows regularly in homeland Sweden and should be doing a europe tour after they release the new album.