So, Cycle of Suffering (Nuclear Blast) is Sylosis‘ post-hiatus album? Considering how tight the musicianship is and the sense of urgency you could’ve told me that this was released six months after Dormant Heart, and I would’ve bought the lie hook, line, and sinker. For a band that just reformed last year and have worked their way through various personnel changes, this is some remarkable shit.
It is worth pointing out that guitarist and current vocalist Josh Middleton has been the consistent force in the band since their inception in 2000. And even though he’s spent the last couple of years as a member of Architects, for my money his passion never wavered for that Sylosis brand of Thrash and Melodic Death. It sounds like I’m really high on Cycle of Suffering (and maybe I am), but the playing and energy here seems to be what Trivium should be sounding like in 2020 or Machine Head‘s new output if Robb Flynn hadn’t fucked everything with Catharsis and ‘Do Or Die.’
With no distracting intros in sight, Cycle of Suffering hits the road running and pissed of with ‘Empty Prophets’ which dances between mid-tempo stomp and thrash shred with ease. The punishing title track inches closer to Gothenburg with its flashy leads, take no prisoners speeds and gurgling low-end. Maybe in his time away from Sylosis, Middleton had been itching to getting back to shred because on ‘Cycle of Suffering’ and ‘I Sever’ he’s burning through leads/solos like they were rented by the hour.
But in addition to the guitar Olympics, Cycle of Suffering also has a penchant for melodies and hooks that stick with you for days. Take in ‘Shield’ and tell me those choruses aren’t living rent-free in your head. ‘Invidia’ growls and moves like vintage The Haunted, but again Sylosis put money in the bank with those giant vocal hooks.
Now all I need is to know what Sylosis sounds like on a more consistent schedule. If they keep this up, we may be looking at the uncrowned underground kings.
9 / 10