Um comentário em “Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope


    Even though if you’ve never heard of Svalbard before, I imagine that it will be hard for you not to remember the band after listening to their latest studio album It’s Hard To Have Hope, which will be released on 25 May via Translaton Loss Records.

    Whether it’s through their pulsing and incredibly emotional sound or their strong direct lyrics, It’s Hard To Have Hope is one of those albums that echoes in your mind even after you finish it and makes you get lost in your thoughts as you try to digest all that which was introduced in its course.

    The band creates a hybrid between Hardcore and a series of other influences, in a way that is hard to try to characterize it through a simple label. The Hardcore vein of the group is pushed to the extremes and merges with heavy passages and absolutely immersive moments in which the atmospheric tone reaches an incredible density and becomes very striking due to the melodic lines of guitar that often resemble something done by bands of the Post Rock scene like Mono.

    The intensity is exposed in such a way that many tracks become suffocating, and I do not say that as bad thing, on the contrary. I will cite as an example the tracks ‘Unpaid Intern’ and ‘Feminazi’, but to be honest, I could choose any one from the tracklist that the idea would apply in the same way. You do not have time to react, it’s like jumping on a train in movement with the adrenaline running at most level and eventually wait for a moment to catch your breath. And these moments are uncommon throughout the album, more precisely they come through the closing track ‘Lorek’ (where there is a notorious Shoegaze line) and short passages where the vocalist Serena delivers ethereal lines that echo through the instrumental briefly enlivened, especially in the already mentioned ‘Feminazi’, ‘Try Not To Die Until You’re Dead’ and ‘Pro-Life’, which has an expressive dreamlike tone that merges with passages of an extreme hypnotic sound.

    And just a brief addition. The vocals on It’s Hard To Have Hope are fantastic. For a band that deals with social themes bringing strong messages throughout the album, the way in which the vocals are delivered have an ideal dynamic. During most of the album we are presented with incredible duets between Serena and Laim, bellowing in a way that at the same time sounds passionate and full of feeling, but also brings a certain visceral urgency that does not allow you to divert your attention from the album. I’ll use ‘How Do Stop It’, my favorite track on the album, as an example. Even if it was only an instrumental track, it would still be able to make me feel something and leave my mind in a trance because of how expressive and touching the instrumental is presented. But here comes the vocals, taking everything to the next level, making each passage become deeper and more fascinating.

    For me, there is something special and unique about what Svalbard has created in It’s Hard To Have Hope, something that not only places the album among my favorite of the year so far (dividing the first position with a certain Danish band) , but one of those albums that I will revisit over and over again through the years to come.


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