Sound — 8
Vildhjarta, which translates to "Wild Heart" in English, was formed in 2005 in its earliest incarnation, though it has gone through quite a few changes since then. Initially, the "band" was just a few guys exchanging ideas over the web and slowly crafting their sound, but after receiving interest in their music on message boards and forums they created a full band. In 2009 the band released their first EP, "Omnislash," which garnered attention from fans of djent-styled metal. Soon after this, in 2011, they signed with Century Media Records and released their debut full length release, "Måsstaden." "Thousands of Evils," their new EP, comes after Robert Luciani left the band in 2011 to be replaced by Vilhelm Bladin. Then in 2012, Jimmie Åkerström was asked to leave the band. This makes the current lineup of the band: Daniel Ädel and Vilhelm Bladin on vocals, Daniel Bergström and Calle Thomer on guitars, Johan Nyberg on bass, and David Lindkvist on drums. The EP contains 8 tracks and has an approximate runtime of 24 minutes. The EP opens up with the track "Introduction: Staos," with an orchestral-like intro (almost something you would expect in a Star Wars movie while showing empty space). The song quickly breaks down to some seriously heavy guitars and drums, with some more "atonal" riffing later in the track. "Längstmedån" opens up with what sounds like some type of oriental stringed instrument, but the heavy comes in pretty quick from there, though the stringed instrument still plays in the background. There are also some relatively clean vocals that appear occasionally on this one. Some really cool staccato riffing comes in on this track in some later passages. "Dimman" has an acoustic guitar intro with some interesting synthesizer/sampled based orchestration in the background. The bass and drums come in next, though the acoustic guitar continues to stick around for a while yet. There is also an interesting keyboard melody going on with this track in the background. This track doesn't get truly heavy until near the end, and the standout part for me in the heavy section is that the bass sound is a really mouth-watering awesome bass tone. "Regnar Bensin" has my favorite intro from the album using a lot of muted chirping/strumming in the beginning which creates one of the most memorable riffs from the album, though probably one of the least technically challenging passages on the album. This is a good track vocally, too, as the two voices do an almost call and response deal through a good portion of the track. "En Mörk Vit Lögn" starts up as almost an extension of "Regnar Bensin," and this track is pretty much brutally heavy from beginning to end. There is some creative use of rests on this track, as well. The atonal passage near the end with the vocals over it is my favorite part of this track. "Dimman Från Lützen" has a really original riff in the intro that really brought my attention back to the album. Again, the bass tone on this EP was catching my attention a lot. "Intermezzo" starts out as a very simple piano melody, really more of a slow pedal note, with some "ambient" synthesizer work going on as well. This seems not so much as an individual track, but truly as an intermission before the last track. "Mist Förståndet," which from what I can gather translates to something roughly like "gone crazy," is a pretty cool track to close out with. There is a lot of stop and start in the track, in addition to your standard djent staccato stuff. There is one clean vocal line in the middle that really stands out, "And they'll smile to silence your questions and crown you the king of the fools." Pretty wicked line. The album is mixed really well, and I was especially impressed with the drums and bass as they are often kind of treated like red-headed stepchildren in djent (well, the drums are usually expected to be just double bass pedals and constantly crashing cymbals, but there is a little more creativity going on here).
Lyrics — 7
Daniel and Vilhelm each bring something unique to the table with vocals. One of them has the deep guttural voice and the other the high pitch screaming, but I'm not sure which is which. They do, very occasionally, utilize clean vocals. The different styles of vocals mix well on the album and add a little bit of vitality to their overall sound. All of the lyrics on the album were written by Daniel Ädel and Vilhelm Bladin. Honestly, I don't feel confident enough to post lyrics to any of these songs yet, and haven't been able to find a source to verify them against.
Overall Impression — 7
As far as djent goes, Vildhjarta is a pretty interesting group. They do a lot of things right, such as creating very ambient compositions and mixing a lot of "hard" and "soft" sounds so the EP isn't like a non-stop full-on assault from beginning to end. The band shows they aren't afraid to occasionally use clean and acoustic guitars, which really adds a lot of character to their music. My favorite tracks from the EP are "Regnar Bensin" and the closing track, "Mist Förståndet." Overall, I was fairly impressed with this EP.