Review Summary: Playing It Safe
Sylosis have always been that one band that the metalheads refer to when arguing over whether there are any good or even any bands at all within the scene that have potential to become something bigger. From signing to Nuclear Blast Records after forming in 2007 and smashing into the scene with their debut Conclusion of an Age a year later. Sylosis’s thrash-tastic riffs coupled with the notable technicality gave us something familiar yet new to divulge. Three more albums later and numerous world tours with acts such as Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God, Sylosis are no longer that hopeful upcoming band. They are now the rising experts of modern metal.
One thing Sylosis do on any album is remind you of how un-genre-defining they are. From Where The Wolves Came To Die comes an intro which would not sound out of place on an Insomnium record then immediately the menacing doom bursts into a thrashy thrive of riffs and climatic breakdowns to signal Victims and Pawns. The bands evident respect of their peers is consistent throughout the album. The typical slides and swirls of Gojira are inhibited in Overthrown that prove Alex Bailey and Josh Middleton know a fret board better than most young bands around. A distinct Amon Amarth pound is found within Callous Souls however Sylosis manage to add their own thrashy and modern feel the songs to add their own theatrics. This certain accessibility to their music may be the secret to why Sylosis are one of Britain’s favourite young bands. Josh Middleton’s vocals have become more refined within Dormant Heart whereas prior albums lacked a certain oomph that has not been heard since Conclusion Of An Age. Tracks like Indoctrinated and To Build A Tomb are sung with absolute clarity and played with pin point precision; another string to Sylosis’s bow.
Most songs on Dormant Heart follow a typical rhythm of riff, verse, chorus, interlude, riff, chorus or such however the Reading four-piece have never repeated themselves twice and still don’t intend to. Throughout Dormant Heart there is a more experimental feel about it that isn’t felt within any previous albums. Harm begins with a technical start that sounds like Periphery and also has the biggest chorus of the album. This is juxtaposed against the dual guitar stabs and subdued chorus in the next track and leading single: Mercy, which sounds like a clear nod towards In Flames’ Reroute To Remain. One the most obvious experimentations is the album closer Quiscent. Clocking at just over 9 minutes, half the song is based around creating atmosphere through the simplistic acoustics and echoed vocals. Unfortunately it does take away the general momentum of a typically thrashy album; nevertheless, Josh’s clear shouting vocals encircle the atmosphere to bring the album to a vivid ending.
Although there is nothing radically different or experimental to Dormant Heart, Sylosis wholeheartedly remind us that they’ve still got some good ol’ proper British bollocks to their music.