Tag: Metal

Review: Svalbard Album

Svalbard album coverSvalbard – One Day All This Will End, Album Review

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.

Pariso / Svalbard Split Album Review

Pariso/Svalbard Split LP Review

Pariso Svalbard splitIt’s not a huge surprise to see these two great bands coming together to make a split album – they’ve toured together many times in the last year (since meeting in Cardiff supporting Direwolves) and musically its clear they are on a similar wavelength, but even for a split record, Pariso and Svalbard have produced a truly collaborative effort here – going one step futher than most and writing and performing two of the tracks as one band; like a gnarly supergroup of sorts.

The album opener Floating Anchors is one of these collaborative tracks and it goes so far as to feature all three vocalists from the two bands.  The tune certainly gives us the heavy duty power you’d expect from these two, with meaty riffage a feature of course, but there are also some nice lighter touches throughout balancing the sound well.

Pariso have four tracks on the LP, these are filled with aggressive power, which won’t surprise you if you’re familiar with them. The guitar sound is all about meaty chuggs and downtuned riffs but there are variations; the excellent Helios, The Demise has a dreamy stoner edge whilst Delirium is darkly metallic in feel.  These tracks are just as intense as, but feel more straightforward than those on their recent album Consanguinity – or perhaps that should read, they feel less playful, as here it is the heady intensity that rules the day above all else.

Svalbard have three tracks here and I think this is the best they’ve sounded, melding lovely chiming guitars with aggression from the duel girl/boy vocals and fast/heavy drums – their tunes are epic and heavy and very addictive – wringing out an emotional skin tingling reaction from you. Ripped Apart will have you grooving and head banging at the same time – solid riffs and vocals you can scream along with as well as some really melodic guitar sections that soar. Greyscale is fist pumpingly heady and upbeat and Allure is moodier with a really epic post-rock feel bringing to mind scene heavyweights Envy a times but also retaining Svalbard’s own core sound at every turn – this is the sound of a band really coming into their own.

Svalbard / Pariso is released on 7th July through Tangled Talk Records in the UK.  The US release is through Holy Ground, for France through Swarm of Nails and in Germany via Through Love. Just Get it.

New Reviews Early March 2012








I’ve reviewed some great new records in the last couple of weeks, it’s been a solid start to March. I think these are all worthy of attention:

A Whisper In The Noise – To Forget
This is a record that begs to be listened to in one sitting, it’s cohesive and well constructed and the mood intensifies when you allow yourself to become lost in their world. The tone is full of loneliness and melancholy, but there is also a spark of magic which seeps into every track and counteracts the darkness. Dreamy, moody and beautiful; recommended for fans of slowcore.
Read more here

Duara – From The Hill
Swiss trio Duara have a punchy instrumental sound with off kilter, complex drums and technically impressive guitars but it’s all done without fuss, without theatrics, so it sounds organic, easy and uncomplicated in their hands. From The Hill is the band’s third full length and it’s being released through the excellent Ikarus records. The album was recorded live in an old cottage in Luzern with no sound tech support, just the band playing their songs and recording them and it sounds fresh and incredibly tight.
Read more here

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New Reviews February 2012


More recent reviews, some really solid releases in February. Here are a few that i’ve enjoyed ths month and would recommend you pick up:



Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster – Exegesis
The band apparently took inspiration from the life and work of author Philip K. Dick on this new album Exegesis and that inspiration has obviously worked for them. They have retained the texture of their previous output with layers of soft melody, sludgy, chunky guitar and intense, noisy soundscapes but surprisingly, in a change from their all instrumental debut, they’ve included vocals on some tracks. The vocals luckily are very well judged, slotting in seamlessly, not breaking the dark and intense atmospherics of the record, in fact Exegesis, the first track they appear on, is a triumph; emotive and melodic layers break into the darkness really, making a connection with the listener (think Latitudes rather than ISIS for a comparison). One of the instrumental tracks, which is already a favourite, the 11 odd minute epic Valis showcases everything that’s great about the band with a base of heavy duty but complex drumming and superb guitars carrying the gently melodic sections but also pumping out meaty riffs; it builds time after time through waves of skin prickling noise but never feels obvious or expected.
Read more…http://www.roomthirteen.com/cd_reviews/12572/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge_Disaster__Exegesis.html

Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
Cleveland based Cloud Nothings new Wichita released album (produced by Steve Albini) is a tuneful ride of jangly noise and melody with beautifully raw vocals; moments of post-rock, post-punk along with surf, garage and indie amongst others all feature (if we must label) – whatever, when it’s this engaging, who cares what you call it, all you really need to know is that it’s charming and memorable and addictive.
Read more...http://www.roomthirteen.com/cd_reviews/12573/Cloud_Nothings__Attack_On_Memory.html

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November Albums


So November’s pretty much done, this month I’ve been listening to and can recommend:



Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
“It’s easy to see from this record why WITTR are so respected; their sound is impressive and so rich that it draws you in instantly. The atmosphere of the places they love is embedded in the tracks and they bring this to you so effectively that you feel that presence behind the music all the way through.”

Office Of Future Plans – Office Of Future Plans
“From the opening strains of ‘Salamander’ with its verging on melancholic but rousing tone, you feel the powerful emotional pull of this record and you know it’s all going to be great; catchy, punchy and you can rock out to it. Ripping quickly from one chunky tune to the next you are greeted with some pretty heady and sometimes noisy moments (‘The Beautiful Barricades’) but always the underlying melodies are strong and the beats grooveable with some fantastic bass lines and the odd blast of jagged guitars the result is an album that’s so satisfying you may wonder how you ever got by without it.”

Eaststrikewest – We’re Important And We Keep The City Running
“A couple of years back I reviewed the album “Wolvves” and was struck by the contrast between the epic instrumental and the tuneful vocal sections of the songs, in comparison this record feels more cohesive; the two worlds flowing comfortably together rather than butting up against each other, making this a more satisfying album which sits easily side by side with some of the biggest epic, anthemic rock albums in recent years.”

Johnny Foreigner – Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything
“Johnny Foreigner’s new, third album has been a difficult project for the band. Two years in the making and stripped of big name producers and contracts they’ve gone back to basics; just them and their great tunes and the result? Thankfully, they haven’t lost anything in translation, in fact this record seems to hold the essence of the band; their fantastic live sound has been captured here with all those dramatic dynamic changes really coming to life, sweet, gentle melodic starts leading to huge noisy blasts of guitar noise that lift you up.”

Roll on December!