Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Released: 6th October 2023
On album five, Svalbard are increasing the intensity of their fiery and enigmatic approach to heavy music. On ‘The Weight Of The Mask’, the four-piece swell and surge, providing vocalist Serena Cherry’s embracing of her deep and dark side with a cloak of empowerment.
2020’s ‘When I Die, Will I Get Better?’ dealt Svalbard a new platform, which they’ve built upon with magnificently grand riffs and snarls. Erupting up from this, the overtness and directness with which they deal with the mental health and darkness that envelopes Serena this time around is masterfully done.
The entirety of the album plays out with a raging confidence, never sticking to one true sound but instead dipping in and out of heavy blasts and focused gazing, giving armament to the hefty subject matter they’re facing head on. Svalbard remain major contenders for being one of Britain’s great new heavy bands, and ‘The Weight Of The Mask’ boosts this one-hundred fold, with the distinct feeling that they’re only just getting started.