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vildhjarta - masstaden

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; there are no religious overtones, it’s all about eating lots of good food with good friends and family, there’s no celebrating of hedonistic capitalism with endless gift-gifting, it creates a short work-week… pretty much everything about it rules. I doubt that either the Swedes in Vildhjarta or the Brits in Savage Messiah had this holiday in mind when they decided to give metalheads the gift of free music this week, but hey, as my old pal Bob Ross used to say, consider it a happy little accident.

Vildhjarta don’t officially release their new album måsstaden until next week, but they’re streaming it in full right now over at Guitar World. Lettuce be cereal: if you’re not a fan of djent at all you’re not going to like this band at all. And I gotta admit, every time those 8-string chug parts come in I kinda cringe, but it’s actually the other stuff that I like about this release; when Vildhjarta decide to break outside of the mold into ambient sounds and –gasp– clean singing, they’ve got something interesting going on here. But then the chugs come back and I’m all… meh.

Meanwhile, Savage Messiah are actually giving their entire new album Plague of Conscience away completely for free, 320kbps MP3 downloads and all, with the blessing of their label Earache Records. I gather Earache is going into this release with the same mindset they did with Gama Bomb last year; rather than hope that some mysterious cadre of “fans” buys a few records by a band no one’s heard of before, they’re using the album as a loss leader to generate interest in the band’s future records, touring and merch, while collecting email addresses in the process. Once again, Earache dares go where no other metal labels does, and I applaud them for it, even if it hurts their bottom line a little bit in the present (which I’m sure it does).

I’m not sure what the general metal public reaction is going to be towards Savage Messiah’s music, though. They remind me of some kind of hybrid of Avenged Sevenfold and White Wizzard. I happen to enjoy both of those bands so I’m finding this listen somewhat enjoyable if not terribly original, but I know lotsa folks despise both of the aforementioned so I gather it’ll be mixed bag. Download Plague of Conscience here and let us know what you think.


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