Welcome to 2015, my fellow metal cronies! If you’re anything like me, you needed the brief respite taken by us here at the A&GS crew over the holiday season. I, for one, was suffering a huge metal hangover from all the amazing releases offered in 2014. However, once I popped a few Excedrins, I was ready to take on 2015 with both ears ready to go. My first record of the new year brought me exactly what I needed to get back in the game, a heavy hitting, high energy basher by British quartet SYLOSIS. Kicking the New Year off right, the group will be releasing their fourth disc, Dormant Heart January 13, through the near- infallible Nuclear Blast Records.
As I’ve stated in some prior articles, thrash metal is a genre that doesn’t spend a great deal of time in my playlist. This has been a focus of much debate between me and The Maestro, but I find that most thrash bands that I am exposed to lack dynamics and texture, and instead focus on who can keep a singular breakneck pace the longest. However, SYLOSIS proves to walk a path slightly juxtaposed of their peers. While the classic signs of influence from Bay-area thrash are eminent on every track, the group also steps far outside those lines to incorporate multiple sounds that rarely grace the offerings of similar acts.
“Victims and Pawns”, “Overthrown” “Indoctrinated” and “Mercy” offer the better display of the group’s thrash influences, keeping things aggressively up-tempo for the majority of their play time. Yet, the remaining tracks bring a wider set of elements to the table. Album opener “Where the Wolves Come to Die” and “Servitude” provide great example, as the songs are more of a slow trudge of building climax than a powerhouse of swirling ire. “To Build a Tomb” begins with a captivating guitar harmony that references Middle Eastern tonalities, spilling similar leads on to the remainder of the song. Progressive passages are also seen throughout, especially with the guitar interludes on “Callous Souls”. Further, the group proves they can effectively work in a mellow environment, with the acoustic -laden closing track, “Quiescent”.
Proving that a Dormant Heart leads to an open mind, the lads in SYLOSIS have put forth the first great release of 2015. This compelling collection has humbled my opinions of what can be accomplished by thrash bands, as well provided me with the kick in the ass needed to get started on my 2015 listenings. If this is the beginning of what the New Year has in store for our genre, then we have a hell of a year ahead. That said; grab a copy of this disc. You need it and you’ll surely thank me later.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM