Vildhjarta is a Swedish progressive metal band from Hudiksvall. The band plays in an aberrant Meshuggah-influenced musical style with use of heavily down-tuned, eight string guitar. The band is characterized by harmonic minor progressions, jarring enharmonic staccato riffs, layers of reverberant guitars and dual lead vocalists. They were signed to Century Media Records in 2011. The band's name translates to "wild heart" in Swedish.
4 Band members,
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Vildhjarta was formed by Daniel Bergström, Jimmie Åkerström, and Johan Nyberg in 2005 in Hudiksvall, Sweden. Hyped since their early days thanks to short demos that circulated the web, they have taken more than half a decade to musically craft their style of music. With the three spread throughout Sweden, Bergström, the main songwriter of the bunch, would email ideas to the others to get their feedback and suggestions. A groovy, down-tuned riff would soon become a verse. After a few more rounds of emailing, that verse would become a song. As more and more songs started to develop, the natural progression was to add more members and become a band. More members brought more input and ideas and soon their own take on metal was created.
As the songs developed and appeared online, so did a rapid fan base. They spread links to the band's songs, promoted them on message boards and tagged them with the word "thall". The etymology of "thall" comes from the slurred pronunciation of the World of Warcraft character Thrall which Daniel Bergström and Calle Thomer found to be extremely funny. This led to the band including it in official communication without explanation, which became unexpectedly popular and nearly viral. Fans demanded to see the band perform so Vildhjarta appeared on a few festivals and shows throughout Europe, most notably, the 2010 edition of Euroblast.
According to Vildhjarta guitarist Daniel Bergström, commitment to their fans and "the art of music itself", only allowed for three songs to be released in the four years before the release of their first full length album. After years of trading e-mails with metal label giant Century Media they signed a worldwide record contract in the Spring of 2011. Their debut album, Måsstaden, is a concept-album that "tells the tale of a hidden and isolated town, narrated in a classic fable manner". Sources of inspiration included The Jungle Book and Mumindalen. The album received a favourable review from a critic, who called it "a harsh, fantastic, concept work." 2011 also saw a major line-up change in the band: Vilhelm Bladin replaced Robert Luciani who parted ways and formed the band Means End together with former Uneven Structure drummer Christian Schreil.
On April 20, 2012, Jimmie Åkerström was asked to leave the band. Fans were told it would not affect Vildhjarta's writing or touring plans. They embarked on a European tour with Veil of Maya, Volumes and Structures in May.
In late 2012, the band announced that they were planning to release an EP of new material, entitled Thousands of Evils. 3 clips from the EP have since been released and a new song was debuted live on the "Euroblast Tour" in late 2012. The EP was released digitally in Europe on September 30, 2013.
Vildhjarta uses Line 6 POD amp simulation/multi FX units for recording and for live performances. They currently use Ibanez 7 string guitars both in the studio and for live performances. The band had decided to do an endorsement deal with the British company Invictus Guitars, but the deal fell through.