ALBUM REVIEW: Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering

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. Continue reading

Sylosis – Dormant Heart

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For me, Sylosis have always made more sense as a live band. Their swirling combo of brutal riffs, intricate solos and breakdowns made perfect sense in the midst of a mosh pit, but on record that intensity is lost, and most of their records end up being enjoyable but lacking the killer spark.

But on their new album, Dormant Heart (Nuclear Blast), the band have finally added the missing element to their sound: killer songwriting. The usual mix of thrash, and melodic death metal with progressive elements have all been retained, but what sets this apart from prior releases is the ambition. The songs are better, the already impressive solos are tighter and the vocals more thought-out.

Where previous albums were pretty much all played at breakneck speed, the band bring down the tempo for much of the album. The likes of opener ‘Where the Wolves Come to Die’, ‘To Build a Tomb’ and second single ‘Leech’ are all slow, deliberate crushers and throughout Dormant Heart, you can hear the band moving on from pure aggression and adding a heavy, almost gloomy atmosphere.

There are still plenty of all-out thrashers though – the likes of ‘Victims and Pawns,’ ‘Indoctrinated’ and ‘Callous Souls’ would have been stand out tracks on any of the previous albums, but the record has far more variety in tempo and style than what’s come before. And of course the solos are breath-taking, it’s always been a strength, but here everything been taken up a notch. Every song features moments of fret-busting brilliance, and it’s hard to pick a standout moment.

As well as stellar music, this is frontman/guitarist Josh Middleton’s best vocal performance by far; the usual deathly growls are present, but he also pushes into clean singing at various points, showing off a side of Sylosis not heard since 2008’s Conclusion of an Age (also Nuclear Blast). On lead single ‘Mercy’ he combines the shred and scream template with a darker melody for the chorus.

The nine-minute closing track ‘Quiescent’ opens with a clean vocals and acoustic guitar, and is so at odds with what you expect from the band that it’s almost enough to question whether you’re still listening to the same band. From there it builds to a heavy and haunting finale.

Since their inception, Sylosis have been one of the brightest hopes for UK metal – few band can combine the fury and hook-laden riffs in the way these Reading boys can.  But previous efforts often felt like a collection of awesome riffs and solos with no cohesion. With Dormant Heart, they’re finally starting to cash in on all that potential.

 

8.0/10

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DAN SWINHOE

Josh Middleton (SYLOSIS): My Top 5 (Non “Big 4”) Thrash Albums

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To celebrate the upcoming release of dark, progressive thrash opus Dormant Heart (Nuclear Blast) Josh Middleton of Sylosis spoke of his love of Thrash, including his Top 5 (non-Big 4) Thrash albums…

In no particular order (except the first one, apparently):

 

SEPULTURA ‘Arise’ (Roadrunner)

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After upping the ante in a serious way with the seminal Beneath The Remains Max Cavalera and crew cemented their place in the annals with one of the heaviest and one of the best slabs of thrash known to man, beast or beyond. Produced by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound, Brazil’s greatest musical export refined their delivery while maintaining the aggression, with an album chock full of anthems from ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’ and its neck-snapping groove, to the epic ‘Desperate Cry’ and the crunching pace of closer ‘Infected Voice’, while the opening title track boasts one of the greatest heavy riffs of the last forty years and is a bone-fide extreme anthem. A genuine Death/Thrash classic.

 

VIO-LENCE ‘Oppressing The Masses’ (Megaforce)

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There’s a certain writing team currently topping the metal charts (and coming in third in Ghost Cult‘s Albums of the Year 2014), a writing team that includes Messrs Philip Demmell and Robert Flynn. Back in 1990, Machine Head‘s creative force were cutting not just their teeth, but an album of jagged thrash intent with no lack of cerebral content, from stomping tour-de-force ‘I, Profit’ to closing title-track, more of a traditional thrasher operating in the Overkill ball park, replete with Sean Killian‘s Blitz-deranged vocals.

 

FORBIDDEN ‘Twisted Into Form’ (Combat/Relativity)

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Another band that operated as a stepping stone for some of its’ members, with drummer Paul Bostaph to move on to Slayer and Testament and highly-regarded guitar-wizard Tim Calvert to later join Nevermore for their defining album Dreaming Neon Black (Century Media). Twisted Into Form was the San Franciscan’s second opus, and with Calvert joining (at the expense of Glen Alvelias, who himself was later to also join Testament), saw a more melodic, technical and progressive approach to the debut.

 

 

HEATHEN ‘Victim of Deception’ (Roadrunner)

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Another early 90’s great, “This is pretty much …And Justice For All Part 2!” states Middleton. Along with the Vio-lence and Forbidden selections, this is another sophomore album that saw a band at the top of its game really define their sound second time around. Widely regarded as one of the most technical thrash albums, Victim… is renowned for its many complex structures, time changes and guitar work, retaining little of the NWOBHM influence exhibited on their debut. Coming in at over an hour, with the majority of its tracks over six minutes in length, Heathen made a statement that thrash could be complicated and could be progressive.

 

TESTAMENT ‘First Strike Still Deadly’ (Spitfire)

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“I haven’t had any Testament yet… and, you know what, I know it’s a cop out, but I really enjoy First Strike Still Deadly. I know it’s effectively a best of, but I like it.”

Featuring guest appearances from original vocalist/Exodus screamer Steve “Zetro” Sousa and Joey Tempesta, who had sat on the drum stool at various points in Testament’s career, as well as Alex Skolnick returning for the first time since 1992’s The Ritual, this compilation of re-recordings was Steve Di Giorgio‘s last with the band. Comprising of tracks from their classic first two albums, The Legacy and The New Order (Atlantic/Megaforce) and old demo track ‘Reign of Terror’, this was the start of the re-recording trend and has been widely panned by critics, which seems harsh as the tracks are, still, incredible. Besides, at least one person (Mr Middleton) likes it… Here at Ghost Cult we support First Strike… but would recommend getting hold of the first two Testament albums, if you don’t already own them. You can pick up pretty much every Testament release while you’re at it, too…

 

 

Words by STEVE TOVEY

 

 

 

 

Sylosis Release New Video & Album Artwork

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UK riff bringers Sylosis have debuted the new music video for their track Mercy and revealed the artwork for their new album Dormant Heart. The video can be viewed below and comes from the bands fourth album which will be released by Nuclear Blast Records on 12th January.

 

 

Press Release:

Sylosis, Dormant Heart, Album Cover
SYLOSIS: NEW MUSIC VIDEO & ALBUM ARTWORK UNVEILED
The official music video for Mercy, a track off the forthcoming fourth studio album Dormant Heart by the U.K.’s modern thrashers SYLOSIS, is now available for viewing on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/EXPQR22UwO0?list=PLB4brr7vf-P6vyk4F37Vrm-26uWPQx3nI

 

Mercy’s got a pretty dark and heavy vibe to it, but it’s one of the most melodic tracks on the album at the same time,” reveals SYLOSIS frontman Josh Middleton. “It’s got a big slow, doomy outro with an octave pedal on the guitars so that’s going to rumble some guts live. For this video, we wanted to keep it dark and claustrophobic. It’s got some of the artwork from the album and inlay illustration as well, which came together really well.”

Dormant Heart’s artwork was designed by Bristol-based artist Bonfire (OPETH, SATYRICON, KATATONIA), who previously created artwork for SYLOSIS t-shirts. Speaking to the theme of the artwork,Middleton states: “The cover relates to sacrifice – the sacrificial lamb is more of a symbol than something to be taken literally – but also the looming, oppressing figure in the background represents corruption and being forced into something against your will.”

Dormant Heart is anything but peaceful; it’s a dark, gloomy, and atmospheric album. “The title refers to people going through life on autopilot and being one of the herd,” Middleton has previously stated. “How a lot of people simply accept the way things are just because it’s ‘tradition’ as opposed to taking a good look at the world around you and thinking for yourself. Sometimes there are catalysts that happen and change our perspective or consciousness.”

The album was produced by Middleton with the help of engineer Scott Atkins and is mastered by TesseracT guitarist Acle Kahney.

SYLOSIS began tracking the new album back in March 2014, working away secretly alongside touring commitments. Drum tracks were recorded in May at Monkey Puzzle Studios by original drummer Rob Callard, who parted ways with the band last month due to time restraints. After filling in for some live shows during SYLOSIS’ Spring 2014 tour, BLEED FROM WITHIN’s drummer Ali Richardson is now a permanent member of the band.

SYLOSIS are:
Josh Middleton – Vocals & Guitars
Alex Bailey – Guitars
Carl Parnell – Bass
Ali Richardson – Drums

Visit SYLOSIS online at SYLOSIS.com.
www.facebook.com/SYLOSIS
Follow: twitter.com/SYLOSIS

Sylosis Announce New Album, Dormant Heart

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UK Technical thrashers Sylosis have announced their new album, Dormant Heart, coming soon from Nuclear Blast Records. Although the band has had some bad luck, such as their tour van crash last month in Canada that forced them to drop off the Trivium, Devildriver, After The Burial Tour, things are looking up for the upcoming fourth full-length release of their career. Still, the band is one of the leading lights of the current UK metal scene, amidst a sea of death, doom and black metal bands populating the map. They have proved to be a standout act live as well.

From The Press Release:

Dormant Heart will be the title of the fourth studio album by the U.K.’s modern thrashers Sylosis. Despite the title, it’s not a peaceful album: It’s about a powerful force unleashing anger against everyday injustice and a sleeping society that lets these things wash over them.

“It’s the most pissed-off, aggressive and intense album we’ve done, yet it still retains the epic, progressive and melodic side we’re also known for,” reveals Sylosis frontman Josh Middleton. “It’s a very gloomy and atmospheric album. We’ve been through a lot as a band and individuals and we’ve made our darkest album to date.

“The title refers to people going through life on autopilot and being one of the herd, how a lot of people simply accept the way things are just because it’s ‘tradition’ as opposed to taking a good look at the world around you and thinking for yourself. Sometimes there are catalysts that happen and change our perspective or consciousness.”

The album was produced by Middleton with the help of engineer Scott Atkins and is mastered by TesseracT guitarist Acle Kahney.It was great doing some of the recording with Scott again,” Middleton shares about the band’s studio time. “We’ve got a good working relationship and he’s really dedicated to what he does. We like to strive for a very earthy and organic sound. It adds to the human element and brings out the intensity and vibe in the music.”

Sylosis began tracking the new album back in March 2014, working away secretly alongside touring commitments. Drum tracks were recorded in May at Monkey Puzzle Studios by original drummer Rob Callard, who parted ways with the band last month due to time restraints. After filling in for some live shows during Sylosis’ Spring 2014 tour, Bleed From Within’s drummer Ali Richardson is now a permanent member of the band.

Watch the official “Fear The World” video from 2012’s Monolith album on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tocEwt4HHOg

Sylosis are:

· Josh Middleton – Vocals & Guitars

· Alex Bailey – Guitars

· Carl Parnell – Bass

· Ali Richardson – Drums


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