This may be their debut album but you know you’re listening to a band already totally in control of their sound, elements of post-hardcore, post-rock, metal and doomier genres combine seemlesly with fantastic melodies and classic structres meant to draw you in. The result is a poweful and positive record which is easy to connect with and come back to.
A listen to the band’s earlier EPs reveals a leaning more towards post-hardcore, a route they could easily have gone down and still been a great band, but they have gradually edged into more interesting territory. So, by the time their split with Pariso came out last year, their sound was much more complex and rewarding and they were poised to hit us with this beautiful beast.
There was no doubt this record was going to be huge, but it is also dreamily epic and for such a heavy album, very uplifting. Take the opener, Perspective, the melody running underneath soars and takes you with it, all the while those aggressive vocals add edge. Mid-way a slower section reigns you back in before the build towards the horizon. Yes, yes yes.
Svalbard know how to work their listening audience, wringing out goosebumps and closed eyes and pounding fists. Disparity is richly layered and addictive, the kind of track you want to put on repeat. There are moments of post-rock beauty like measured and melancholy track The Vanishing Point and more straightforwardly hardcore moments like The Damage Done but all are bound in that unmistakable Svalbard feel. This is the record we’ve been hoping they would release and it doesn’t disappoint, put it on your christmas wishlist.
The record is out now through Holy Roar Records.