February 7, 2020 Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering (Album Review)
From within the music scene of Berkshire, England, Sylosis is a band that stands out from the rest. That is why it is extra exciting for fans that after 5 long years they are back with their newest offering Cycle of Suffering on Friday, February 7th, 2020 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Formed in 2000 by young friends Josh Middleton and Carl Parnell, who shared an appreciation for Extreme Metal, 2006 saw the release of the EP Casting Shadows which was followed by The Supreme Oppressor in 2007. Since then signing on as a member of Nuclear Blast family, Sylosis’ first full-length album Conclusion of an Age debuted in 2008, marking a resounding change in their sound, one much closer to what it is today. By 2015 the group had released three more full-lengths—Edge of the Earth in 2011, Monolith in 2012, and 2015’s Dormant Heart—before entering a hiatus until March 2019 when they entered the studio to record Cycle of Suffering.
Offering 12 new tracks , the band wastes no time to grab your attention on opening cut “Empty Prophets” with guitars that shred and tear with a fury. Slipping from chugging to high-speed shredding in no time at all, there are also Middleton’s screeches which are bloodthirsty but refreshingly simple and raw. This all paves the way for “I Sever,” which begins with unassuming acoustic guitar but devolves into Ali Richardson’s hammering drums and a spiraling guitar solo. Here, an epic build up of the chorus—which belts “I sever!”—takes a deep breath as it allows militaristic drums and a slow melody to fill the air.
Moving on, the album’s namesake “Cycle of Suffering,” plays with brutal rhythmic patterns, repeatedly changing time signatures to show the skill of all four musicians. Meanwhile, its follow up, “Invidia,” is a song that pushes the boundaries with its most intense most before contrasting with gentler asides. Here vocals that dance the line of singing and screaming fill the chorus with a beam of hope as shrieking guitars rule the verses with passion and speed.
Then there is “Calcified” which is just as intriguing as its namesake with a dynamic and corrupt sound. Yet the seventh song, “Idle Hands,” returns a hellish viciousness, especially evident in lyrics like “When all that’s left is the feat they crave.” Here the drums and guitar race to the finish line in a quieter moment, but in others, the band layers the melodic cries of one guitar beneath the thrumming strums of the other.
From the earth shattering drums to the eclectic array of guitar work within Cycle of Suffering, there is no shortage of exploration in sound and rhythm. Guitarists Josh Middleton and Alex Bailey find a way to interweave brutality, mellifluous melodies, and an ever-changing ambiance, all as the bass lines set forth by Carl Parnell seem to light fires alongside Drummer Ali Richardson. With Cycle of Suffering Sylosis traverses the terrain of Thrash, Prog, and Melodic Death Metal in a flourish of wicked guitars, hellish vocals, along with magnificent bass and drums. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album 4 of 5 stars.