Pariso / Svalbard – Split

This collaborative split by two excellent bands from the UK came out as a nice surprise to me and it's worth picking up for anyone looking for something new


Artist: Pariso / Svalbard

Title: Split

Release: LP / Digital

Year: 2014

Label: Through Love Records, Tangled Talk, Swarm of Nails, Holy Ground

I love it when DIY hardcore artists go to such lengths when teaming up with another band for a split release that they want to commemorate and bind their joint venture by teaming up for a collab track. We usually find this in their “outro” where we hear the product of both bands 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 from the UK who embark on an exciting adventure with the soundscapes of post-hardcore and metal music and give us more than that in their recipe for a great split record.

Their record starts and ends with collaborative tracks that are really well thought out and produced as stand-alone songs, with lyrics and vocal parts coming from all three singers of both bands, making it sound like there is another, third band on the split.

After the collaborative first song “Floating Anchors”, London’s Pariso takes the lead with the short metallic assault “Howl of the Forest”, followed by the longer and more varied compositions “Underground Notes” and “Helios, The Demise”, and culminating in the convergesque delivery of the closing track “Delirium”. Certainly Pariso is a force to be reckoned with—heavy and dense metallic sound with brooding vocals, deliberately wrapping 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 nods to Pelican in their haunting guitar riffs.

Bristol’s Svalbard is quite different in style, with members of Burning Skies, More Than Life and many 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 by subtle ambience and passionate dual male and female vocals that deliver a powerful emotional presence. Svalbard is an excellent band and in my opinion they are not unlike other great post-hardcore bands coming out of the UK like Rinoa, Foxxes and Landscapes.

The uplifting and emotional compositions of Svalbard are over and we dive into the closing track called “Faceless”, the second collaboration between Pariso and Svalbard. It builds on a solid foundation of metallic riffs and groovy textures that we know from Pariso mixed with the emotional build-ups of Svalbard, again the Pariso vocalist is supported by the two Svalbard vocalists, lyrical themes are intertwined and we have a great finish to this record. This collaborative split came as a nice surprise to me and it’s worth picking up for anyone looking for something new.

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