July 14, 2023
Photo: Georgia Penny

Svalbard is proud to announce their ardently anticipated new studio album, The Weight Of The Mask, due out on October 6th via Nuclear Blast Records

White-hot new single Faking It has also been revealed, accompanied by a video. The track lays bare a poignant, candid account of dealing with depression and coming to the realisation that you are “faking it” to just get by. 

Svalbard‘s intention with their music is to make people feel less alone, and to be there for people in their darkest times. The Weight Of The Mask bravely lays out experiences of mental illness and depression, hoping to help destigmatise these topics.

Svalbard‘s Serena Cherry stated: “If the previous record was about facing your demons, then The Weight of The Mask is about fighting them with everything you’ve got. You can literally hear the depression transform into aggression in these songs. The Weight of The Mask was admittedly a challenging album to make because we cut so deep this time around, it was a painful but ultimately cathartic process. This album is the sound of two years worth of internal darkness boiling away inside and then finally being unleashed.

Faking It is a song about feeling deprived of meaningful human connection due to depression acting like a wall that shuts you off from others. It addresses the ways in which those who suffer with depression can feel guilted into putting on a happy mask. The lyrics are a reflection on happiness as a social obligation and how scarily good you can become at deceiving everyone around you into thinking that you’re fine when you’re not. With Faking It, we are both acknowledging the pressure for forced positivity, the fear that people won’t like you if you’re sad and also questioning where the root of this intolerance towards depression lies.” 

Serena added about the Faking It video: “This video leans on deliberately obvious binary oppositions to hammer home the message of the song. We have the glossy smiling shots, filmed in the fakest place we could find: The Selfie Factory; mixed with dark, expressive performance footage that represents the internal struggle within.” 

The Weight Of The Mask was recorded at The Ranch Production House, UK. The record was produced and mixed by Lewis Johns, with mastering by Grant Berry. Engineering was handled by Lewis Johns, assisted by Matt Janke, with additional editing by Kel Pinchin and Sebastien Sendon.

The beautiful album artwork was created by artist and illustrator Hestor Aspland, with layout by Lee O’Connor.

Serena Cherry stated about the album artwork: “We have been huge fans of Hester Aspland‘s Illustration since we saw her stunning art work carved into a wooden table at our favourite metal bar, The Gryphon. The intricate, floral aspect of her artwork for The Weight of The Mask reflects the sonic beauty within our melodies. Then the bleaker animal skull mask symbolises the lyrical content. Working with Hester was an absolute dream and we love the art she has created for us.”

The Weight Of The Mask

  1. Faking It
  2. Eternal Spirits
  3. Defiance
  4. November
  5. Lights Out
  6. How To Swim Down
  7. Be My Tomb
  8. Pillar In The Sand
  9. To Wilt Beneath The Weight

AVAILABLE FORMATS

CD Jewel Case, 1LP Crystal Clear w/Black Marble, 1LP Purple w/Black Splatter (band exclusive), Digital Album

Svalbard finished an extensive tour across the continent supporting post-metal monoliths Cult Of Luna and Russian Circles earlier this year, and the band are now half way through a string of European summer festival performances. They’ve recently played the likes of Inferno (Norway), Hellfest (France) and With Full Force (Germany), plus 2000Trees and Portals in the UK. Their remaining festival dates are listed below.

SVALBARD will be returning to the EU mainland for six headline show dates in October, which will be concluded by a headline date at The Key Club in Leeds, UK. 

Summer Festivals

04-06 Aug – CH, Gränichen, Gränichen Open Air 
11-13 Aug – BE, Kortrijk, Alcatraz Festival
16-19 Aug – UK, Compton Martin, ArcTanGent
October Headline Dates
14 Oct – NL Nijmegen, Soulcrusher
15 Oct – DE Cologne, Helios 37
16 Oct – DE Berlin, Urban Spree
17 Oct – DE Dresden, Chemiefabrik
18 Oct – DE Neunkirchen, Stummsche Reithalle
19 Oct – FR Paris, Backstage By The Mill
21 Oct – UK Leeds, The Key Club

Formed in Bristol UK, Svalbard have released three studio albums, three EPs and several split releases. Their exceptional last studio album, 2020’s When I Die, Will I Get Better? was dubbed by Metal Hammer UK as “the most important British metal record of 2020”, with both Metal Hammer and Kerrang! lauding the record as a top 10 album of the year. A career milestone, it cemented Svalbard as a powerful and vital component of our global music scene.

Whilst refining their distinctive blend of euphoric black metal, post-rock and d-beat, Svalbard have incorporated a few more surprising influences along the way. From soft, mournful singing to progressive guitar leads, it showcases a sensitive dynamic that lends impact to their most crushing moments – of which there are undoubtedly many. There’s no poetry, no ambiguity – just direct, raw honesty as the quartet tackle some very uncomfortable subjects head on. This is heavy in the most evocative sense of the word. The blunt lyrics are equally as important as the music.


Svalbard is:
Vocals/Guitar – Serena Cherry
Vocals/Guitar – Liam Phelan
Drums – Mark Lilley
Bass – Matt Francis


SVALBARD online: