Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — March 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

REVIEW: Sylosis – Monolith

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Artist Name: Sylosis
Title Name: Monolith
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

If at the beginning Sylosis sounded like a band trying to balance themselves on top of the thin line that divides thrash and death metal hoping that their real identity would surface at some stage, they certainly evolved quickly and consolidated their own musical signature.

Such maturity and coming of age can be heard on their latest and third to date full-length release Monolith, that gifts the listener with eleven solid torpedoes of aggressive yet (and?) entertaining heavy music. With little or no care for the listener’s heart condition, the album starts out in furious madness with the fast “Out from Below”, with thrash sounding riffs and revealing, more metalcore scream-oriented vocals. Josh Middleton once again holds both guitar and vocals duties, and seems to be dead set on distancing himself (and the band as a consequence) from the death growls of their previous singer. This is confirmed by most of the remaining songs on this album: “Fear the World” follows with a slow intro and remarkable eighties-like riffs, and some tempo breakdowns that if in previous albums seemed almost accidental, now seem to be carefully planned. “What Dwells Within” is next and one of the highlights here, with a dark intro, chugging riffs, furious breaks and even some Opeth-like segments.

“Behind the Sun” is more of a filler, sludge type of song, while the speed and alternating tempos return with “The River”. Title track is then delivered with more eerie melodies alternating with heavy riffs and blasts, and another pinnacle is reached with “Paradox”, which stands out for its beautiful melodic intro, straight out beats, and epic chorus. “A Dying Vine” follows suit with a feeling of déjà-vu, while “All is not well” follows a more Scandinavian melodic death metal direction (to my pleasant surprise). Sludge returns with “Born Anew”, and “Enshrined” finishes the opus off with an interesting mix of gothic metal melancholic melodies and furious straight out thrash beats and power chord progressions.

While I might say the continuous change in vocal style is not necessarily something I particularly like, this work reveals a band that seems to be finding their own space, somewhere between the immense ranks of straight out death metal and thrash metal bands, and more progressive mammoths such as Opeth and Mastodon. It’s a wise move that will please wise listeners.

LINKS

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VIDEO

Sylosis – Fear the World