When U.K.'s Sylosis sprung upon the scene with the praiseworthy EP "Casting Shadows" back in 2006, a young vibrant and exciting brand of modern thrash was born. This "modern thrash," which the band has branded "enlightened, neck-wrecking turbo-thrash" - a more technical, serious and melodic version of the beer soaked, speed driven "old school" styles - is laced with a much less migraine inducing metalcore screech and features a boatload of riffs, the speed of which is both controlled, contained, as well as propelled by melody. Sylosis has always been a brilliant, exciting and insightful act, one that finally hit its stride with the third release "Monolith" in 2012 and its follow up "Dormant Heart" in 2015. "Cycle of Suffering" ends the band's largest break between releases, and the band has taken that time to craft one of the more enjoyable releases of the subgenre.
The best way to describe "Cycle of Suffering" is "Sylosis unleashed." While many of the typical hallmarks of the band's sound are alive (the speed, the intensity, the melody), band leader/songwriter Josh Middleton (vocals/guitars) opened up the boundaries of Sylosis, making this one of the band's most accessible albums to date. Having taken the hiatus to explore more creative outlets, the time rejuvenated the band and it shows. The album closer "Abandon" finds Middleton incorporating his most mature and modern songwriting to date - where the foot comes off the gas in favor of a squall of atmospheric progressive consonance. The song is set on a separate axiom from the rest of the album, yet its congruence
One of the album's strongest tracks include "Apex of Disdain" and "Invidia." The former incorporates the best the band has to offer, precise, fetching and brutal riffs that surround stellar leads, with Middleton' scored vox belching out bleak themes. The latter is a soul crushing attack that explores the emotion of envy. The tune is unrelenting, broken up by the soaring melodic chorus and massive riff breakdown at 2:30 and blistering solo at 2:50, all while drawing influences from the best of bands like Mercenary, Soilwork and Pantera.
Unyielding is more than just the theme on "Cycle of Suffering"...as songs like "Shield," a near four minute barn burner (akin to Sepultura smashing headlong into Insomnium) which sports the album's best chorus on the release, "Devil In Their Eyes," which features the most memorable and mosh-inducing riff breakdowns, and "Disintegrate," a deliberate and vicious assault of massive riffs, will attest.
Sylosis is back, and sounding better than ever. With a rejuvenated sense of purpose and boundary breaking songwriting, the modern thrash has more room to permeate through the angry, dark, chaotic, but relatable lyrical themes. Make no mistake though, Sylosis is still 'calcified' through crushing riffs and dizzying speed. With added breadth of songwriting, the band sits both at the apex of the subgenre and, in many ways, at the beginning of the journey. Every great maturation begins with a "Cycle of Suffering."
Label: Nuclear Blast Records (order album here)
Release Date: February 7, 2020
1. Empty Prophets
2. I Sever
3. Cycle of Suffering
7. Idle Hands
8. Apex of Disdain
9. Arms like a Noose
10. Devils in Their Eyes
Check out the music video for "I Sever" here:
Check out the music video for "Calcified" here: