Picks: Svalbard, Baptists, Light This City

We’re keeping it hardcore with this week’s round-up of recommended new releases but the variation within is impressive.

From intensity, through spite, to a pronounced metallic edge, these three bands all bring something different to the table. Enjoy.

It’s Hard To Have Hope
Holy Roar Records

It’s Hard To Have Hope is the new album from Bristolian progressive hardcore outfit Svalbard, who specialise in claustrophobic noise that makes you think you’re right there with the band in their world of darkness. It’s just as good as the last one and that’s a noteworthy achievement. This is lyrical realism colliding with refined musical fury and it works superbly. Svalbard have a sound, a kind of uncomfortable gallop, and it’s deployed frequently on this album. But it’s lairy riffing that does the legwork and we’re all for that.

Beacon Of Faith
Southern Lord Recordings

There’s quite a buzz about Beacon Of Faith, the third album by Vancouver’s Baptists, and quite right too. This is hardcore the smart way, angular and angry, and certainly never dumb. Although it’s mostly made up of satisfying, short, aggressive outbursts, this album packs surprises too. ‘Capsule’ drops the pace and majors on atmosphere, an approach later adopted and expanded by ‘Eulogy Template’, by far the longest track on the album and a brilliant reason to spend six minutes looking at your shoes and slowly banging your head.

Light This City
Terminal Bloom
Creator-Destructor Records

Light This City’s last full-length album was released ten years ago and the hardcore-infused San Francisco melodic death metal crew have hit the ground running with their first record as a reactivated band. This is a lovely little burst of frantic, groovy metalcore that hinges on the juxtaposition between bright, melodic riffing and the hyper-aggressive vocals of Laura Nichol. In a world littered with boring metalcore and even more boring melodeath, this 32-minute nugget doesn’t outstay its welcome. Catch this in the right mood and you’ll get what you’re looking for.

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This Decay Staff