Svalbard – The Weight of the Mask Review

I’m really attracted to the urgency bands as Svalbard bring to music. It’s something like the soundtrack of the end of the world – where I guess we’re in the verge of it. It’s the kind of urge that came with the bands that play that kind of modern Metal and other post-something. By the way, as the wise electronic oracle Wikpedia says, Svalbard’s sound has been primarily been described as post-hardcore and post-metal, as well as hardcore punk, crust punk, D-beat, melodic hardcore, black metal, “blackened hardcore” and post-rock. Whilst Svalbard’s output has consistently displayed elements of post-rock, crust punk and black metal, their later albums since “It’s Hard to Have Hope” have been noted for introducing more metal, atmospheric and shoegaze elements. To tell you the truth all those terms give me a headache.

Even though I’m not into this kind of music, I really liked “The Weight of the Mask” the kind of urge the album delivers the fan. An urge that gets very near the despair and a state of hopelessness – the common feeling of all modernity. Album warmer “Faking It” was the one that really got by the guts with all the emotions I said before. I like honesty, and Svalbard’s convinced me to be real. There are moments of a pure melancholy in tracks “Pillar in the Sand” with some kind of Prog Rock mood. One thing that really got my eyes into the band is their instrumentals. So, but so above the average bands from their labelling. From “To Wilt Beneath the Weight” I got from where the band got the label Melodic Hardcore. Its guitars are pure Social Distortion with a scremo vocal. There is something from the 1980s in it. Something from U2’s The Edge way of playing the guitar with a higher intensity on the high notes. That combined with the vocals has a solid effect. The combination is weird, but effective. It’s also true that the band hasn’t forgotten their Hardcore roots.

Even though the band has been around since 2011, “The Weight of the Mask” is only their fourth album. n early July 2020, Svalbard announced their third studio album “When I Die, Will I Get Better?” for a mid-September release through Holy Roar. Three weeks before the album’s planned release, the band severed their ties and associations with Holy Roar due to the recent sexual misconduct allegations against its founder Alex Fitzpatrick. The band subsequently signed with Church Road Records and would release the album with them on September 25, as well as arrange refunds for people who preordered the album through Holy Roar.

Svalbard “The Weight of the Mask” will be released on October 06th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Faking It
  2. Eternal Spirits
  3. Defiance
  4. November
  5. Lights Out
  6. How to Swim Down
  7. Be My Tomb
  8. Pillar in the Sand
  9. To Wilt Beneath the Weight

Watch “Faking It” official music video here: