Sylosis - Monolith

Sylosis - Monolith

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(CD, Nuclear Blast US, 2012)

It’s been a while since I had listened to a good album belonging to the Gothenburg sound and I think this was due to the saturation of this scene where many bands were pretty much playing exactly the same music. So, without having high expectations, I got the brand new album from UK’s SYLOSIS to see if they had something new for me.

First of all, before hitting the 'play' button, I was a little bit skeptical since the UK Metal scene has lost its bearing the last decade or so, giving the impression that there is not a great interest for good (Metal) music. But this country has a long story and I’d be a fool if I’d excommunicate every album coming from there. Anyway, this is the band’s third full length album and from what I learned by browsing on the net this is a concept one, loosely based on the Greek myth of Orpheus who tried to bring back his wife Eurydice from Hades, using his mesmerizing music skills. I cannot really comment on SYLOSIS’ adaptation of this Greek Myth since without the lyrics sheet, it’s extremely difficult for me to understand the words sung in almost Metalcore-style vocals. The sure thing is that the album is wrapped around in a hearty dark atmosphere, enhanced by the very good sound production that does not sound plastic but has a nice live character. I mean, the songs are aggressive, groovy and most importantly the drums sound natural without being triggered or over-compressed like in most of nowadays albums. And this is the price most young bands have to pay when they bring their music into famous and successful producer, but that’s another story.

The most crucial part in Melodic Death Metal is the guitar work, so this album made me a fan on the spot with the DARK TRANQUILLITY intro of the album opener entitled “Out From Below”. Then the rhythm guitars take the reins giving the song a killer Thrash attitude perfect for moshing. Even though Josh Middleton sounds very close to Metalcore, he showcases some singing variety coloring the lyrics and consequently following the music’s mood as the groovy breaks are perfect for some headbanging. The twin guitar attack and the high-hat action in “The River” (does this refer to Hades’s river, Acheron?) reek of the Gothenburg sound, while the bell sounds and the minimal keyboard work add this eerie atmosphere that I think fits perfect to the concept (there is that underworld scent all around). “A Dying Vine” is an awesome straightforward guitar attack and solid double bass drumming, while during the melodic breaks the keyboards do the atmosphere magic once again.

This trip to the Greek Mythology ends after the almost 10 minutes of “Enshrined” something rather rare for Melodic Death Metal albums that seem to like following the already golden recipes. In any case, there is clearly diversity here and a bunch of killer riffs something I think is a huge asset for SYLOSIS. The acoustic guitar-based breaks and the clean vocals build the tension that bursts out with another guitar assault. After the end of this song, there’s another one (some like to call these songs hidden tracks) that features more acoustic guitar and clean singing dropping the final curtain on this story.

No doubt, this is a great album coming from the UK scene that I have to say I have missed. I am sure there are many very good Metal bands there, so it’s time for me to do some research, while cranking up the volume having “Monolith” inside my CD player.





01. Out From Below
02. Fear The World
03. What Dwells Within
04. Behind The Sun
05. The River
06. Monolith
07. Paradox
08. A Dying Vine
09. All Is Not Well
10. Born Anew
11. Enshrined


Josh Middleton - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Carl Parnell - Bass
Rob Callard - Drums
Alex Bailey - Guitars