Here’s a blanket statement about the new SYLOSIS album Cycle of Suffering: it is hard, it is fast, and it is an absolute sonic punch to the gut from beginning to end. Still with me? Good. Because this is a trip you wanna take. Out now via Nuclear Blast Records, the record is a perfect vehicle for getting your aggression out through the volume and through the music. Never mind the fact it’s the band’s first new music in five years, but holy shit did they come back with a vengeance. Vocalist/guitarist Josh Middleton sounds like a man on a mission, while the band around him is not content to just conquer the village, they wanna burn it to the ground.
As soon as opener “Empty Prophets” kicks in you just know we’re in for a Heavy Metal bloodbath. “I Sever” takes that vibe and runs with it before the title track “Cycle of Suffering” delivers a goddamn death blow. The Thrash Metal is super-strong with this one, and it is for sure one of the album’s best tracks. “Shield” manages to be both heavy and melodic at the same time while the thrashiness pretty much begs you to headbang yourself into a neck injury. “Calcified” does the same thing while still having a great hook. By the way, drummer Ali Richardson should be commended for his work on this record because he’s amazing. And while we’re at it let’s take a moment to acknowledge the killer guitar solo with this track, yeah?
The one-two punch of “Invidia” and “Idle Hands” would surely whip any crowd into a frenzy and get the circle pits going with a vengeance in a live setting, that’s for sure. “Apex of Disdain” shows itself as another one of the album’s best, and once again we are treated to a fucking amazing guitar solo with this one. Alternating between slow build up and all out blitzkrieg, this one reminds us all just how great this band is. “Arms Like a Noose” is all dark and moody at the start, then morphs into another thrashing beast of a song. I think it’s also safe to say that “Devils In Their Eyes” ranks up there as one of the best in the band’s catalog; Middleton doesn’t swing for the fences, he knocks them down with a battering ram.
If it’s a powerhouse duo to close a record you’re looking for, then look no further than “Disintegrate” and “Abandon.” The former is a brawler, and the latter is very somber, with a deliberate slow tempo that is equal parts eerie and atmospheric. The melody is understandably dark, and the combination of clean singing with raspy growls works to the song’s advantage. Listen, when all is said and done Cycle of Suffering is arguably the best work SYLOSIS has ever done. And I can say with all certainty that it is now my favorite record from the band. Melodic, yet brutalizing in all the right places, THIS is an album you need to own…today.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM