Tag: Svalbard

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.

Looking Forward – Upcoming In 2015

I love the optimism of a fresh new year and there are already some great releases to look forward to in the first quarter of 2015.

Octaves Caravels Split EP
Octaves /Caravels – Split EP

Not long to wait for this first one,  a split from Octaves and Caravels which has an expected release date of 20/01/15 through Bridge 9/Topshelf; one for the post-hardcore mob. Check out the Octaves track Tom Petty Cash, taken from the EP below.



Swell-drug-church-520x520Drug Church – Swell EP
An expected release of 10/02/15 for this excellent new five track record from one of my favourite bands of 2013. The EP continues on where the album finished – husky vocals, playful lyrics, great melodies, heavy hit drums and rich well-rounded guitars. Opener But Does It Work? is a corker, closely followed by Ghost Dad, but again, the whole record is a great package of memorable and addictive tunes with no duds.


Pelican The Cliff
Pelican – The Cliff EP

Released on 23rd February, this is essentially a remix EP, reimagining The Cliff, a track from their 2013 release Forever Becoming. I’m not normally a fan of remixes but this one has piqued my interest with the addition of vocals and names like Justin Broadrick and Aaron Harris attached. The EP includes one new track too.

Also upcoming are new releases from MINE who have a new EP to be released but no date for this one yet and the debut full-length from Svalbard, both of which already have me salivating.

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.

Svalbard – Flightless Birds 7″ Review

Svalbard – Flightless Birds 7″ Single Review

Svalbard Flightless Birds CoverBristol hardcore mob Svalbard impressed me when I reviewed their last 10″ EP for Roomthirteen.com back in March this year and I’m already liking this 7″.  Opening track Flightless Birds is the one that seals the deal, a faster paced punk-rock section at the beginning with H/C screams offset by superb riffage; throughout there are fantastic chiming guitars running underneath (reminding me of Envy or Té) and the tail end of the tune holds a delicate build, with those guitars coming to the front of the mix, adding texture and lifting their sound, making for a dreamy and melodic finish.

For What It’s Worth I’m slightly less sold on.  It has a more sedate pace and relies more on metal riffage than the opener, there is a switch from screaming to singing which on the last couple of releases would probably have seen a gruffer punk-rock vocal come in, but here it is cleaner, and (I hate to say it) screamo-esque.  Other than the cleaner vocal sound this is still a strong tune with some really nice elements including rising riffs creating a strong emotional core.  While it’s great to hear the band’s sound beginning to evolve, on a personal note I hope it doesn’t mean a move into more metal territory going forward as their punk core is what makes them so appealing, well, for me anyway.  All in all, another strong release.

Flightless Birds is released on 7th October through Tangled Talk Records.