Album Review: Svalbard – Discography 2012-2014

This Svalbard discography collects some of their earliest releases, including their debut EP, into one collection. It’s a prime example of an organic journey of a band going from strength to strength.

The Bristol band have crafted themselves a sound out of melodic hardcore, black metal, post-rock and just about anything they can lay their hands on. This is noticeable within the first three songs here. They’re the most recent and come from a split with Pariso. ‘Allure’ demonstrates their post-rock influences whereas ‘Ripped Apart’ sways between post-hardcore and the kind of screamo that would make Envy blush. From the same EP, ‘Floating Anchors’ is a beast, with both bands playing together.

Discography 2012-2014 by Svalbard

Going backwards in time through the collection we reach 2013’s ‘Flightless Birds’, one of Svalbard’s best songs that really shows their excellent song writing skills. After the album’s mid-way point the band are at their most ferocious, comparable to California’s Punch. Here, Serena Cherry’s vocals are delivered with so much determination and angst. In contrast there’s melodic vocals from guitarist Liam, something that isn’t so common in their later releases.

The discography ends with songs from their debut EP. They sound similar to the more recent songs, maybe just a little less refined, while the vocals are by their former bandmember prior to Serena taking to the mic. You really notice the band’s progress from 2012 to 2014 as they’vereally developed their song writing skills. What is most apparent is that Serena’s vocals really are what makes their sound a cut above the rest.

This genre has been popularised by the likes of Deafheaven and Oathbreaker bringing it out into the mainstream. It has to be said though that Svalbard are far better and totally worthy of some of that hype. Svalbard’s songs actually sound like songs and their eclectic range of influences really shines through, creating a delightfully diverse sound. They’re are undeniably passionate about their music and this discography depicts this perfectly.

3.5/5

‘Discography 2012-2014’ by Svalbard is out released on October 28th on Holy Roar.

Svalbard links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Tom Drakett (@tomdrakett)

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