Bristol band Svalbard is an outburst of anger so fiery you can feel its heat blistering your ears. They are a grand declaration of war on everything wrong with the modern world, set to a beautiful, visceral soundtrack.
The foundation of Svalbard’s songs are surging riffs and a sense of constant forward momentum that’s as infused with the spirit of punk rock as it is the thunderous power of metal. Svalbard take cues from melodic hardcore, post-hardcore and at times black metal – and even in their darkest and heaviest moments, they sprinkle some melody that add a sense of euphoria (or hope, perhaps?).
The band wear their militant, bleeding hearts on their sleeves. Song titles including “Feminazi?!”, “Unpaid Intern” and “Revenge Porn” show a will to capture the zeitgeist as well as a wish to address these issues head on.
Kerrang! has called the band’s album It’s Hard to Have Hope “one of the most fantastically creative heavy records you will hear in 2018”. We definitely agree!
In 2020, Svalbard released their third album with the depression-heavy title When I Die, Will I Get Better. Give it a spin and you will discover that the band’s sound has developed a lot. They are still pissed off but you will now come across beautiful and expansive textures from the shoegazer genre which interlock with the aural explosions Svalbard are known for.
Svalbard is also an intense live experience. Front woman Serena Cherry’s mix of clean and (mostly) screamed vocals merge into a wash of guitars, piercing drums. The band comes at you at full speed!