Sound — 10
Sylosis have been described as mixing sub genres of metal like Epic Death, Thrash, and Melodic to make something of their own. Personally, I'm not much of a metal connoisseur, but I know what I like when I hear it. And I like this, a lot. It is uncompromisingly brutal throughout; an unabated barrage of gnarly riffs, absurd fills and soul shattering screams. Yet in spite of this, it is more catchy than AIDS could ever dream of being. There are very few passages that are sung, and the guitar work is constantly progressive, backed by an incredible drummer who somehow manages to keep up with ease. I think the key to this is the fact that the band play their music in E standard tuning, which means where in other metal you might hear a chugging open drop C chord for the majority of a song, here you'll get an E, and the higher tuning manages to really bring the melody to life. And there's lots of it, too. Too many guitarists can shred the shit out of their guitars, but Josh is one of the only guys I've heard manage to do it and make it effortlessly melodic. Solos of this speed and technicality should not be stuck in your head for days, and yet, for instance, the first solo from Withered will lodge itself in your brain and refuse to budge. In essence, Sylosis have taken all the brutality of metal, and turned it into something truly musical. A final note here... the production is awesome. Of course.
Lyrics — 9
I've read in numerous places that the lyrics have a lot to do with how human beings are f--king up the earth, but that the earth will eventually prevail over us all. Sounds a little bit dark I suppose? Well clearly it is. But to be quite honest, the vocalist for this band could probably write about fairies and it'd still make me want to go out and stab people. One of my favourite lyrics here is from Oath of Silence: 'But unlike the hand of Midas, all you touch will turn to shit'. However, its not just the lyrics, which in my opinion are excellent, but the delivery. The screams are delivered in an unfaltering manner which effortlessly combines the brutality you'd expect with the clarity you wouldn't, and on the rare occasions where you hear singing, you will be shocked. The voice is deep, booming and mournful. It is simply epic. I'll give this section a 9 because I need this review to get published, people need to hear about this band. As a reason for the missing point... Perhaps a little more singing would be a good thing. That said, this is one of the only bands I thoroughly enjoy with only screamed vocals; I normally prefer either an even mix or predominantly sung vocals.
Overall Impression — 10
Ahhh my favourite bit of reviewing. The bit where I don't have to much description and instead can just bang on about how much I love this album. As I've mentioned before, whilst I enjoy and regularly listen to metal, I'm not a conoisseur. Even so, this is my very favourite album at the moment, of any genre, and certainly will be my favourite metal album until they release their follow up at some point this year. A brief run down... The album opens, of course, with the obligitory instrumental intro, which actually does set the tone for the whole album. In fact, parts of the refrain here are featured in sections later in the album, bringing the work together. Okay forget the run down. My highlights here are Teras, Withered, Stained Humanity and Oath of Silence. Each of these songs really exeplify to me exactly what this band are about. Chugging, progressive riffs with ear piercing vocals that get stuck in your head. From the awesome galloping verses of Withered through the epic breakdown of Oath of Silence and out the other side to the outro of Teras. I defy you not to rock out each and every time you hear this. There isn't much I hate about this, but I have to at least try answer the questions the review template asks, and I appreciate I can't write a 10/10/10 review. If I were to downgrade it on anything, it'd be the songs that don't have an immediately catchy riff in. But myself I can find something I love in every song. I honestly urge everyone to check these guys out. They are one of the most underrated bands out there at the moment and they deserve to be absolutely huge. They are tunefully brutal, and there aren't enough bands like them. They prove that metal doesn't have to be a mess, and manage to keep it as progressive as is melodically possible. If you do go out to buy this album, you'll likely see a sticker on the front of the CD making the seemingly bold claim that they are the UK's tightest live band. I saw them live this month and I can honeslty say, that claim is not remotely bold. They were flawless. I had waited for some of the moments from that gig for the past several months, such as the afforementioned breakdown from Oath of Silence, and I can say I was the very opposite of disappointed. It was as of the album was playing through the PA but with infinitely more power. Just incredible. Never mind this review. It is of utmost importance that you hear this band, now. The joy of youtube means there are no excuses! Finally, for anyone about to comment and say that their EP, The Supreme Opressor, was better... I've heard it. Its freaking awesome. But its not as good as Conclusion of an Age. Everyone progresses every day, and I have no doubt the next Sylosis album will be even more incredible than this one. I apologise for giving a 'shining review', UG staff, but this really is the best Metal album I've ever heard. No problem :) UG staff