Sound — 6
The debut album from up and coming metalcore band Sylar from Queens, NY hits hard in the scene. From the likes of Caleb Shomo producing their record, we can expect some sort of influence from him. You can definitely hear "This Means War" (Attack Attack! record) from time to time, as well as Emmure, and The Plot In You influences. This makes the sound range quite well. Even though those seem to be their influences, they have their own sound. Hell, some people even compare these guys to Linkin Park for their hip-hop influences from time to time. While all this is said, they do sound unique, but does that cut it?
Vocalist Jayden Panesso has his attitude that most can see he isn't afraid to show off his talent. Whether that's representing New York clothing or just the way he moves, and says things, everyone can see it. And while that's not a bad thing, I can't say he's as good as he may think he is. I mean... as much as I enjoy his vocals, and his style, in the end, he isn't as special as some may claim. But with that said, other sound qualities on this record are filled with chugging in drop G, so it does sound heavy, or at least the listener thinks that, but these guys are as heavy as say, Issues, and right there, that's a good comparison to this band. Both bands have uncleans, while Issues is more clean vocal driven, they try to be heavy from time to time, because they're trying to suit two different crowds: pop/r&b, metal, and hell, maybe even hip-hop fans.
Sylar seems to try and suit mainly metal fans, as well as possibly even hip-hop fans. I'm sure people who enjoy bands like Linkin Park, Emmure, Dangerkids, Issues, or Hollywood Undead will also enjoy this band. And these are all very different bands. Sylar definitely does try to bring something new to the table. And this band is miles more unique compared to Issues. The clean vocals are more emotional, and catchy. That's going to be the key word for this record: catchy. And every single one of those bands mentioned above have all made catchy music. Why? Of course it's subjective, but you'll find yourself singing the choruses of these songs over and over again. You might even catchy yourself humming guitar riffs or breakdowns (at least I do). I just can't find that as much in any of those other bands. Well... Linkin Park I definitely do. But seriously, these guys are going to explode in at least another year. Mark my words. And if they don't, maybe Dangerkids will (another up and coming band).
Lyrics — 5
While the sound section is most certainly simplistic, it does not mean the whole record itself is already a pile or manure. And while the lyrics are not the best, there are lines you will remember in some of these choruses. Take "Live/Breathe" for example:
"How can I take this life away
Take this life away
When I was never alive to begin with
Knowing the sorrow never stops
Another great moment on this album that will surprise ever fan of bands in this scene is track number 11, "Substance," featuring Doriano Magliano formerly of Woe Is Me. This feature was SUCH a surprise to hear after WIM disbanded in 2013, I thought the members weren't doing anything else outside of music. But Doriano makes a remarkable performance. Some people probably won't even know it's him doing the "bleghs" in the background, but they are done so f--king well. I wish he was doing something else nowadays, but goddamn, from this song alone I'd probably rate him high up.
Overall Impression — 9
I definitely do not want to be that guy to fan boy over this band when I haven't even seen them live yet, but I have heard good things about them. I first heard about them from a friend, but did not bother looking them up. Next thing you know, they took Stray From The Path's place after they dropped off Emmure/The Acacia Strain's tour this past fall. I heard "Prescription Medication" and just fell in love somehow, and not even on purpose. I tried to admit to not loving it, but these songs are just so damn catchy. And whether you want to call this band a guilty pleasure or not, that's up to you.