SVALBARD have today announced details of their third album, When I Die, Will I Get Better?, due out via Holy Roar Records on September 25. Having lost none of their gut-punching energy, the four-piece have redefined post-metal and delivered an emotive opus for the ages; an eight track anthology of personal and societal highs and lows. The first track is premiering exclusively via Kerrang! with an accompanying video. Pre-orders for When I Die, Will I Get Better? are available now
Of the track and its place on the album, vocalist and guitarist, Serena Cherry, comments:
As Carol Hanisch said “the personal is the political” and that’s a phrase I draw inspiration from, in the sense that inner turmoil and societal struggles are inextricably linked. When I’m talking about my hurt in the song, it’s a pain that isn’t just mine – but one felt by many who have also been exposed to domestic abuse.
“With both this song, and the entire new album, it would have been impossible for me to write anything that wasn’t bleak; as I was suffering with an overwhelming bout of depression – the kind that completely obscures your perspective until you eat, sleep and breathe despair. In 2019, I wasn’t just haunted by the black cloud – I became the black cloud; and that permeated everything I did. Every lyric. Every note.”
As When I Die, Will I Get Better? first track, Open Wound, drenches the heavy metal foundations of the album in melancholic melody that pervades each and every effervescent track thereafter. The shimmering guitars lend an expansive and bittersweet sound to the songs, reminiscent of the likes of Envy, Alcest and Oathbreaker. Having polished up a few of the rougher edges found on earlier releases, the overall sound is one of a band hitting a more mature stride whilst retaining the vibrancy that makes them so unique, both live and on record.
Taking the title from a stumbled-upon book (which features an apt subtitle of ‘A Book About Healing’), SVALBARD have designated a triple-pronged meaning to the words. One interpretation being the feeling of struggling with mental health and leaning towards wondering if death might be a cure for the inescapable pain. A second elucidation being the phenomenon of people being put upon a pedestal after death, something particularly prevalent in celebrity culture. The third relates to the idea of heaven; of people believing in the bribe that they will be rewarded in the afterlife for behaving a certain way during their time on earth. The amalgamation of these three threads creates a tapestry of emotions hung on the framework of one of the most essential albums of 2020.
When I Die, Will I Get Better?
1. Open Wound
2. Click Bait
3. Throw Your Heart Away
4. Listen To Someone
5. Silent Restraint
6. What Was She Wearing
7. The Currency of Beauty
Serena Cherry – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Liam Phelan – Vocals, Guitars, Rhodes
Alex Heffernan – Bass
Mark Lilley – Drums
Lyrics by Serena Cherry
Produced, Engineered and Mastered by Lewis Johns. Recorded at The Ranch Production House, February 2020.
Artwork by Steven Kingscote
When I Die, Will I Get Better? is released via Translation Loss in North America.