RoundTable Review: Sylosis – Dormant Heart
Posted by Reggie
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 13 Jan 2015
Songs: 14 (including two bonus tracks)
Length: 67 Minutes
Studio Albums: 2 EPs plus Conclusion of an Age (2008), Edge of the Earth (2011), Monolith (2012)
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England
WarpRider – Just as I was wondering what awesome metal would kick off my new year, Sylosis comes along and set the bar high for metal for 2015. Dormant Heart (the song) is a blistering dose of thrashy elements (after the intro) highly capable of inducing robust circle pits. The album is a well-balanced mix of angst, melody, and musicianship; relying on all those elements to keep this lengthy production fresh throughout. Let’s face it, 67 minutes is virtually essential for prog, but for thrashy albums 67 minutes is a long time. Victims and Pawns is one of my favorite songs; it is laced with high energy thrash suggestive of the big four era bands. Overall, Sylosis nails it with Dormant Heart! What a great start to the New Year! – 4.5
RiffRaff – I have to say, this record was a real slow start for me, and while I still have a couple of issues with it, by the end of the record I was quite impressed.
First off, the riffing and everything thrash about this record is out-freakin-standing. There are some monumental chunks of thrash that would put Slayer to shame (though Slayer’s recent output has left room for desire). The blistering riffs, neck-snapping drumming, punchy and erratic solos. Just damn good thrash. There’s also a nice mix of melody and death metal style groove I quite appreciated.
However, two things really irked me. The vocals, especially during the first few tracks felt flat; lacked punch. Around the fourth song I had gotten used to them, but generally feel a bit stoic throughout the entirety of the album. I can’t say if it’s from the mixing or performance, but they just never feel right. The great thrash surrounding them does make up for the fact but they hold the record back from achieving true greatness.
The second is the length. Unless you’re a prog band, over an hour is a bit much to swallow and the fatigue really sets in during the last quarter. Some trimming would have done wonders for the experience.
Qualms aside, Dormant Heart is an enjoyable record and really succeeds in delivering damn fine thrash with a modern twist. Kinda like what Revocation is doing with their own unique spin. If you can endure the thrash marathon and the just average vocals everything else in this package makes up for its shortcomings. 3.75
Irmelinis – What a great start of the year! Sylosis brings us a very satisfying album that exceeds my expectations, both on the inside and the outside. “Dormant Heart” is more than pure thrashing, much more than just captivating guitar solos, angry words and fast riffing. It’s engaging on several other levels; the sincerity in the album’s doomy atmosphere, the lyrics and in the band as a whole really shines through. Listen to the fantastic outro of “Mercy”, the groovy groove in “Servitude”, the brilliant songwriting, dynamic sound and emotional singing in my favourite track “Leech”. Sylosis delivers the whole package, including gorgeous looking artwork, and they make me love thrash (that might be a first!) – 4.5
ChristopherMammal – It will take me a few listens to decide if I have a favourite track on this album because they’re all good. “Dormant Heart” is a most satisfying meal from the first bar to the closing chord. Right now, there is one track that does warrant special mention. It’s “Zero”, the last track, one of two bonus tracks on the album. It’s a cover of a Smashing Pumpkins song. Dare I say it, this is probably the first time I’ve enjoyed any Smashing Pumpkins music.
The compositions are all solid, Sylosis are clearly experts at track placement as well as the pacing within each song, and the musicianship is unfailingly superb. In some passages the band distinctly differentiates between the thrash and death styles. Elsewhere, they’ll switch to their own blended style that makes death and thrash feel like they’ve been happily married for the last two centuries. For further variety, some of the pacing and melodies might have come from the darkest depths of slow doom metal. Everything thunders forth from instruments tuned so low that the strings would become spaghetti with another tiny twitch of the tuning keys.
Sylosis is new to me. It won’t stay that way, not after this album. The band may face a huge problem, though – when I start my Mammal Metal band I want to steal their Rhythm Division. The tightly interwoven, less-is-more approach of bassist Carl Parnell and drummer Ali Richardson is extraordinary. I can’t imagine anyone could build a better platform for the evocative guitar work of Alex Bailey and the mighty voice of Josh Middleton. 4.0
A Metal State of Mind Score – 4.2 out of 5