Monday, November 26, 2018

Svalbard : "It's Hard to Have Hope"

It's weird that a British band named themselves after a part of Norway, but there is a coldness to their music that is isolating as the region. The album starts off with the kind of fast punk styled riffing you would expect from a hard core band. Things don't get interesting til "Revenge Porn" it has faster hard core burst balanced out with clean vocals sung by the female guitarist, which is something that is volleyed back and forth through out album from this point on. "Feminazi" races into a very sweeping metallic place that kind picks up where the previous song left off.  "Pro-life" is more interesting as the bass line finds a groove and the sung vocals provide a wider dynamic.

There are some elements of the way they attack some of these rapid tempos that gives this the feel of blackened hardcore, but black metal from more of a Deafheaven school of thought than Burzum.  It's important for things like the sung vocals at the end of "For the Sake of the Breed" to balance this out. "How Do We Stop it " works off an angry blasting speed that this album has no shortage of. I do enjoy the more sonic intensity this song holds. They dial it way back into the ambiance of "Try Not to Die Until Your Dead". They do blast into the more aggressive hard core sections, as they should since hard core is supposed to be angry, but I appreciate the layers they are giving to do so. "Iorek" indulges in a more post-rock moment. It does build into something heavier which is cool.

"Open the Cages" rages more than it relishes the atmosphere. The guitars do contract to create some tension and the chords rings out with a great deal of melody on what would be the chorus. I'll give this a 9 as the more sweeping passages help expand the definition of hard core. If you like metallic hard core that is not just drill Sargent tough guy shit, then these guys are worth your time.

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