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Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering

Sylosis
Cycle of Suffering
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 19 February 2020, 2:49 AM

SYLOSIS return from a 3 year hiatus. In October 2016, SYLOSIS announced that they would be going on hiatus as front man Josh Middleton would be filling in for the ARCHITECTS on guitar due to the sad passing of their guitarist Tom Searle (R.I.P.), who was also a close friend of Middleton's. After 11 months of touring with ARCHITECTS, it was announced that Middleton would be joining ARCHITECTS as an official member, stating he would remain in SYLOSIS. This is now the return to the studio following 2015’s “Dormant Heart” which was also released with NUCLEAR BLAST. Josh is a man of his word, but will this be a return to the great days that made SYLOSIS one of the best British bands of the last 20 years. Listen and find out.

Empty Prophets” opens up the album with the pace and sounds that we come to expect of SYLOSIS. The pace is not Thrash-level but it is still fast enough to be technical. The changes in this song allow us to hear the talent these people have. Could be a little heavier and faster, but this is just the first song. The breakdown of the riff is another usual trait of SYSLOSIS; they work it into this song, without changing the pace as much as could be expected. It is still not a band song to kick off the returning album.

I Sever” has a slow start, but you can hear something is being wound up. The pace does not hit as fast as I thought it would have, it’s a bit more progressive. The song does pick up slightly, but fails to explode or expand the song. The song unfortunately never really goes anywhere and it is a bit disappointing.

Cycle of Suffering” picks up the pace back up to where “Empty Prophets” left us. It still feels like they are holding back slightly. The song sounds like it could include a solo or two to breakdown the melodies, but it does not happen. There are a few flirtations with some more technical riffs and a few changes in the melodies to end, but not really until the end. “Shield” kicks off nicely. Its progressing the tempo higher, this is what it feels like we have missed. The only issue is that the tempo once again backs down and becomes lackluster. The song needed something, and what it got is a fantastic breakdown, building like in “TERAS”, but not as long and adding a few little riffs to pick it up. This is a good way to end, even if these changes are needed sooner in the songs.

Calcified” continues the improving progressive patterns. It ticks away nicely to start and then breaks in the melodies. The riffs are at least a gear slower than could be, the vocals are working to build up, but they cannot to do it alone. The technical play is inserted around #half way which brings a new depth to improve the song, they keep it going with a few changes in pace and aggression. There is even a few slashes of technical play thrown in for good measure. “Invidia” continues the pace set down from its predecessor. The pace remains constant throughout, although it is not the heaviest song on the album, it does have a few splurges of technical genius. Although I think it has potential for more, more explosive play, a bit more on the heavier sides like you can hear from previous albums. The breakdowns they could have inserted in here would have been to make the song heavier and in my opinion, better.

Idle Hands” has a heavier start, even if it takes some of the pace out, it is an aspect required to add new depths. This pace has been done in the past and it contains the similar aspects, where the guitars randomly speed up, refreshing the song and adding a new depth to the song that seems the approach here. The pace does not change often on the song and it does not expand as far as I feel it could of. If this was the only slow, melodic song on the album it wouldn’t be an issue, but as the overall pace of the album is down on pace from albums before, this song does not have the same vibes, it is just another slower song, instead of being a different song you can hear the obvious pace differences.

Apex of Disdain” has a good start, sounds like it is building up to explode. It does the buildup well and progresses through the melodies. The only issue is that they have capped the intensity, it could have gone further. Once more the technical guitar play can be heard, which is greatly appreciated.  This song has a lot of talent shown and for that it takes the album up a grade, it may not be fast, but it works. The melody progresses nicely throughout and keeps up the balance well enough. “Arms like a Noose” has a far more subdued start than I had expected top hear, its an acoustic intro. The usual state of play kicks in not long into the song, so it adds a new ideal to the album, not a bad shot. The progressive melodies used at the start picks up pace steadily, allowing us to hear the differences in play. It does stop abruptly in a segment to go acoustic once more for a short period, before the breakdown hits. This is a good use of the breakdown.

Devils in Their Eyes” does slow back down to where the overall album is at as far as pace goes, but there is an improvement on aggression from the vocals. This is better balanced together, it has a good beat and decent enough melodies mixing together. The vocals are the orchestrator in this song. It is a good song in the respect it takes all the good segments from the album and gels them together. Could have used a breakdown or breakout in here, but it was not required in the same way that other songs needed it, this just could have used it if required.

Disintegrate” kicks off with a slow, melodic riff, progressing through the lower gears. The aggression in the last song has subdued slightly. The technical play has returned, even if it does not go as fast as we have heard, it balances well with the pace. The melodies used to work to progress us through the song, they just feel like they could expand more. The build up in the last minute is good to take us into a new sound, could have gone into a bit more technical riffs to add a depth to the song.

Abandon” is a slow starter. The pace has been removed altogether, the aggression on vocals struggle to come through as they are keeping the balance in place. The issue here is keeping the balance it feels more like a fade out song to end the album. There is clearly more technical play shown in here and at this pace it is easier to hear. The song never really goes anywhere and ends with the fading melody to close. The issue with already being a fan of a band and doing a release you’ve been waiting for is the fear of it sucking. This does not suck, but it does not contain songs that I think are as good as previous albums. It could be a way of getting back together to get new material in the future. If this is your first SYLOSIS album, go back through their stuff and enjoy some amazing songs. Its not the best album of 2020, but sits happily mid-table.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Empty Prophets
2. I Sever
3. Cycle of Suffering
4. Shield
5. Calcified
6. Invidia
7. Idle Hands
8. Apex of Disdain
9. Arms like a Noose
10. Devils in Their Eyes
11. Disintegrate
12. Abandon
Lineup:
Josh Middleton – Guitars & Vocals
Conor Marshall – Bass Guitar
Alex Bailey – Guitars
Ali Richardson – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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Edited 07 April 2020
 

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