Bands originating from the UK are becoming more and more popular in the international circuit and Sylosis are one band at the forefront of the latest British Invasion overseas. With Edge of the Earth and Monolith both doing very well commercially and critically it’s time for the band to further spread their wings and explore where they can go artistically with Dormant Heart, and explore they do.
Reading’s Sylosis are fast becoming big players throughout international metal-with tours supporting Lamb Of God, DevilDriver and Killswitch Engage under their belts-and their full length albums being generally well received by the metal press of the World. Their last album Monolith saw them reach newer heights both commercially and artistically by combining more genres with their already well-worn thrash and metalcore style. Dormant Heart takes these combinations a step further by melding more progressive influences into the mix than previous efforts to great effect.
The albums opener Where The Wolves Come To Die sets an impressive and foreboding prescient for the rest of the album using long held chords, powerful drums and harmonised sections. Put all of these together with the strong and assured vocals and you have an impressive cocktail of metal fury and thoroughly setting the tone for the rest of the album. Believe me, if you work in a profession whereby you’re forced to listen to mediocre pop music made by preening little shits this album is the perfect antidote.
Sylosis, to me at least, are a band that get better with age as their music matures with them they only become more and more accomplished song writers. They’ve always know their way around and effective tempo change but Dormant Heart takes it to a new level, all falling exactly in the right places giving the thrashier songs a kind of traditionalist feel, but while being inventive enough to sound fresh.
Vocally, lead singer Josh Middleton has become more confident as time has gone on, to the point where on this album he has started to stretch and test his range, mostly with a great deal of success, however sometimes not. This isn’t a problem as it doesn’t detract from the songs in any way but instead adds a depth to them, like they are grounded in reality rather than over wrought and over produced.
It’s not just heavy breakdowns and blistering wank factor nine speed that Sylosis display musically with Dormant Heart but also a lot of layering of different tempos over each other creating a richer sound throughout the album such as on To Build A Tomb adding a presence to the album that less accomplished musicians wouldn’t be able to achieve. There are also some classic metal influences to be heard on Dormant Heart, such as the slow building Leech which begins with an Iron Maiden esque harmony before transitioning to an old school thrash metal sound and then to more of a metalcore chorus.
Sylosis also aren’t afraid to show that their music has balls too with heavy grooves in songs like Servitude and Callous Souls, said balls are often offset by more melodic and tentative sections to give their songs more of a texture other than a one-dimensional display of unrelenting speed and technicality.
The final track Quiescent kind of comes out of nowhere as a mix of all the heavy ethereal material album that has come before it on the album and mixes it with a shit load of, for lack of a better word, beauty. No really, that’s what it is to me. This song represents Sylosis at their most creative and yet somehow most simple and is an excellent way to end Dormant Heart in style.
While some may not understand Sylosis fully, Dormant Heart will become a fan favourite very quickly and will further display how this band can compete with larger bands in the international metal community.
With the lead vocals not hitting the right notes at times and the genre switching this might be overlooked on first listen by a lot of people, but I however really like it. It’s interesting, innovative and is a stepping stone for the band to go to bigger and better things.