Review Summary: Lengthening a song does not make it better.
Sylosis is a band that divides many opinions in the metal community, mainly because of the two sides arguing whether they are the new heralds of thrash metal or merely a metalcore band playing some fast riffs. This album is the third released by Sylosis and is one of the least interesting releases by them.
Looking down the track list for Monolith, one thing jumps out. Only two tracks on this is under 5 minutes long, the rest sitting around the 5-6 minute mark. First up on the record is ‘Out from Below’ which is seconds under the 7 minute mark. Whilst the instrumentals are interesting, it is the length of this song that is a major issue, making an average song drag and feel extremely overdone. Most of the riffs have that worn feel, as if the band is listening to old thrash metal records and trying to parallel the sound and riffs. The only issue with this is the fact that the riffs do not blend well together, leaving a listener feel like they’re trapped in a vortex of mismatched riffs and solos.
The mess of riffs is continually found throughout the album with the most annoying part being the interchanging atmospheric parts. The droning synth parts would be good as an introduction to a song, but when these are scattered in less than strategic places, they throw out the balance of a school. It is much the same with the clean guitar parts, which come up in most of the songs on the record. This is what brings the overall quality of this record down, the repetitiveness. As each song goes by, you can almost predict the outcome of each song. You know there’s a clean part coming around the corner; you can tell that the song will slow down; you can almost see the chugging riff that will end the song.
This is not to say that the riffs are technical, they are. They are not by any means untalented, nor irritatingly bland. It is the fact that most do not go together well at all. The solos are much the same, not blending or suiting the riffs as well as they could, as well as being dialled back strangely in the mix, rather than showing the slick soloing techniques that are demonstrated. The first few times that this happens, it felt out of place, but was not overly frustrating. However once this became a constant factor, it grew frustrating. It grates on the nerve to hear the solo that would add a desperately needed change.
The vocals are nothing spectacular; rather, they are nothing short of boring. Bland, mid range, throaty rasps that are visible in most –core bands puncture most of the songs. Sometimes these could almost be classed as shouts, but then the slip back into the dull ritual, the same bland vocal patterns that have been abused for the last decade.
The other instrumental parts in the band do come forward frequently, but do lack like most modern albums. The bass is inaudible for the most, completely drained out by the vocals, drums and guitars, which is extremely disappointing. Then again, so many modern records lack audible bass, so much so that it could be removed from the band and you would barely notice.
The drums here are excellent, the pinnacle of an otherwise average record. Whilst at times they sink into boring patterns, the fills and increases are grin worthy. However, there just isn’t enough of them and at times the bass drum just doesn’t have a fantastic hit to it, blending in with the snare. There
This record is simply average. There is no way to get around that fact, simply because the songs are mediocre yet not bad. However many songs would have been far more enjoyable if they were a minute or two shorter. If some more diversity was added in the vocals, perhaps it would just be that much better. Unfortunately, what we're left with is a incomplete canvas. Some pieces seem well constructed, whilst others seem disconnected and not relevant to the overall working of the painting.