Review Summary: It's under water this time.
Ten years after a debut album is quite the wait that I wouldn't blame anyone to start speculating if the band was even writing any music. Lo and behold we have proof that between the years Vildhjarta (pronouced vealed-jar-tah) was actually doing something worthwhile during that time. Did it really need a whole decade? Probably not, but as far as progressive tech metal with ambient interludes and clean instrumentals backing intense riffage goes, they have a better track record at the moment than most of their acclaimed peers who share the throne in the genre. You can't keep poking Amia Venera Landscape's corpse for long before people move on, preferably to bands that put out something actually worthwhile for the hiatus in between albums.
Vildhjarta's brand of poly-rhythms interlaced with odd time signature downtuned guitars picks up right where their debut leaves off, sharing most of its DNA with its' older sibling. Masstaden under vatten is a technical feat comprised of a bunch of showmanship of the band's adeptitude in their music theory craft, unapologetically so. The kind of stuff that you either get or question if it even has a point at all. If you're the type of person that rolls their eyes at the idea of a band cramming a bunch of ideas and sounds into an 80 minute album with little to no reason, I highly doubt this will bring you into the genre. For the people that live in this type of music, you are in for a treat.
Masstaden under vatten is a beautifully made album with an abundance of entrancing ambient sound, abrupt starting guitar tones slamming down with the impressive growled and shrieked vocals. It's not entirely original, but it doesn't have to be when the music just sounds this good. The production is crisp without sacrificing the occult edge swaying throughout the tracks. Every unique sound comes together in a cavalcade that meshes into this satisfying ebb and flow of heaviness and wandering noise coming from behind. The song structures loosely play around with each other to create these memorable moments that just wouldn't be able to carry the music without them. Interludes serve as a small respite along the albums trek, not overstaying their welcome before embracing the thrashing once more. An all too familiar song and dance, but a welcome one nonetheless.
Masstaden part 2 simply put is an incredibly well made album with an undeniable amount of effort and love put into it. I expect this to stick with people in ways other tech metal just can't. This is the upper echelon for its kind, leaving an impact of rhythmic sounds reverberating in your skull well past the albums finale. Expect repeat listens well into the colder months, here's your send-off for the year.