Sound — 9
Sylosis.. what an interesting band they are. Easy to categorise, but difficult to do it precisely. Some say thrash, some say metalcore, some say melodeath. But what they certainly are is a very, very talented and skilled band. There is not a single dull song on this album, from 'Desolate Seas' through to 'Oath of Silence,' every sound in this spectacular album provides a 100% awesome listening experience. The music itself sounds, to me, quite like a (much) more melodic version of Lamb of God, with some clean vocals added in a few songs, and the harsh vocals themselves being less distorted and more understandable than that of the American band. Nevertheless, there are blatant influences from both metalcore and melodic death metal, which does work fantastically.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in 'Conclusion of an Age' are very dark, with the core subject matter being on how the earth reclaims itself from us humans. As a result, you could say that this album is very misanthropic, lyrically. However, this fits extremely well with the music, which, for the most part is pretty brutal, with chugging riffs and string-breaking solos. (Teras sweeps) The singer himself (Jamie Graham for this release, but now Josh Middleton) also complies to the furious drumming and riffage with vocals which wouldn't work in death metal, but are too brutal for metalcore. Occasional cleans are thrown into the mix too, which I would like to see more of, but in most cases, the vocals and lyrics are a positive of the album.
Overall Impression — 9
'Conclusion of an Age' may be one of the best albums in it's (sub sub) genre, In my opinion, tracks 5 through to 9 are the strongest on the album, (Reflections Through Fire, Conclusion of an Age, Swallow the World, Teras and Withered.) So much so, that all of those songs are in my 'Top 25 most played' on my iTunes (Reflections Through Fire losing out a number one spot to Amon Amarth's 'Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags') Despite this, I must make it clear that whilst there are no weak tracks on the album, you should listen only if you like harsh vocals, as without liking the vocals, the impact and power of this masterpiece can be lost. The only negatives of this album are some of the riffs sound very similar in a few songs, and the fact that I can't play most of their stuff! Overall: Just a legitimately amazing release. A true masterpiece in this declining age of metal.