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Album Review

Svalbard – One Day All This Will End

Svalbard - One Day All This Will End

Impressive musicianship and genuine passion: a massive debut.

Label: Holy Roar
Released: 25th September 2015

Rating: ★★★★

Nothing makes you feel more alive than a hardcore record that reminds you that everything dies. Your time here limited, efforts eventually futile.

However, right from the opening notes of ‘Perspective’ and bookended by the powerful melodies of ‘Lily’, there is optimism to be found amongst the fury. Nothing is forever, but that’s okay.

Bristol’s Svalbard, having formed in 2012, took some time in releasing their debut album. It shows. ‘One Day All This Will End’ is blistering post-hardcore of true ambition and scale, production stepped up without losing the intensity of previous output.

The real strength of this record is in how it throws elements of hardcore, metal and post-rock around, planting them in less obvious places, fucking off formulaic hardcore clichés and replacing them with texture; satisfying in its’ builds and breaks, nothing tacked-on.

Standout moments include ‘Disparity’, which balances uplifting moments with being, well, a total rager; the all-encompassing bleakness of ‘The Vanishing Point’, and the crushing ‘Unnatural Light’. Special mention goes to ‘Expect Equal Respect’, an indignant two fingers up to sexist cultures within music that see women treated as less capable. This is especially relevant within the genres Svalbard inhabit, which are all too often spaces dominated by men.

“This shouldn’t have to be said / I expect equal respect / Nothing more, nothing less,” screams lead vocalist and guitarist Serena Cherry, and it’s hard to imagine someone dare refuse it to her.

Because, as if any further proof was required (hint: it isn’t) of the impressive musicianship and genuine passion within this band, ‘One Day All This Will End’ is it – a massive debut which should command the respect of anyone who cares about heavy music in 2015.  Kristy Diaz