I love it when DIY hardcore artists are putting such an effort when pairing up with another band for a split release that they want to commemorate and bind their joint ventures by teaming up for a collab track together. We usually find this in their ‘outro’ where we hear the product of both bands just jamming in the studio after their tracks have already been recorded. Well, that’s not exactly the case with Pariso and Svalbard, two excellent bands coming from the UK undertaking an exciting adventure with the soundscapes of post-hardcore and metal music, who give us more than this in their recipe for a great split record.
Their record starts and finishes with collaborative tracks that are really well-thought and produced as stand out songs unto themselves, with lyrics and vocal parts coming from all the three singers of the both bands, making it sound like there is another, third band on the split.
After the collaborative first song “Floating Anchors” London’s Pariso is taking the lead with their short metallic assault “Howl of the Forest”, followed by the longer and more diverse compositions “Underground Notes” and “Helios, The Demise”, and culminating in Convergesque delivery with their closing track “Delirium”. Surely Pariso is a force to be dealt with – heavy and thick metallic sound with brooding vocals, intentionally wrapping up just about everything from hardcore to math, stoner and sludge. You’ll hear their influences raging from Botch to High On Fire to Kyuss, and with serious acknowledgements to Pelican in their haunting guitar riffs.
Bristol’s Svalbard is pretty much different in style, featuring members of Burning Skies, More Than Life and tons of other bands they seem to be hell-bent on producing dramatic post-hardcore music characterized by dynamic build-ups that lead into an exciting journey of epic, modern sounding hardcore backed up by subtle ambiance and passionate dual male and female vocals delivering powerful emotional presence. Svalbard is an excellent band and, in my opinion, they are not unlike other awesome post-hardcore bands coming from the UK like Rinoa, Foxxes, and Landscapes.
The uplifting and emotionally filled compositions of Svalbard are over and we delve into the closing track called “Faceless”, the second collaborative track between Pariso and Svalbard. It lays on a solid foundation of metallic riffs and groovy texture known to us by Pariso mixed with the emotive build-ups of Svalbard, again the Pariso singer is backed up by the two vocalists of Svalbard, lyrical themes are intertwined and we have a great finish to this record. This collaborative split came out as a nice surprise to me and it’s worth picking up for anyone looking for something new.