Sound — 9
I discovered Sylosis based on a recommendation from the forums here, but there was no review for their newest album, so I figured I could try it since this is quickly becoming my favorite album. There seems to be a lot of debate about Sylosis's genre. To me they sound like a cross between Thrash and Melodic Death Metal. They have a very dark sound. Their songs are fast and heavy, with standard-tuned guitars playing palm-muted crushing rhythms and the blazing guitar solos you might expect from Metallica or Avenged Sevenfold. The drums are some of the best I've ever heard, not only because they're fast, (just about any metal drummer can go extremely fast, doesn't make them great), but because they fit the songs so well. The bass is not very prominent on this album, with the only part where it's even noticeable being the intro to "Empyreal". The vocals sound like a more melodic version of the standard fry-screams of the average Metalcore band, somewhat like a deeper In Flames. 01. "Procession": Great album opener, very dark sounding opening riff. Super heavy riffs and drums with a long scream come in slightly afterwards. The verse slows down a bit from the intro and the chorus is back to the dark, melodic guitar harmonies. The entire song is almost 7 minutes long. Very strong opening that sets the mood to this amazing album. 02. "Sands Of Time": Much more melodic than the first song, with a somber sounding guitar riff to open it, and then back into the Metallica style riffage for the verse. Pretty good solo early on in the song that could probably be somewhat better. The chorus takes the intro riff and adds vocals to it. Not as good as most of the album, but still a pretty solid track. 03. "Empyreal": The most famous song on this album, with good reason. The intro is composed of basic but effective rhythm, and some incredible sweeps. The chorus is one of two moments on this album that gives me goosebumps when I hear it. The melody is extremely powerful and creates some strong emotions when you listen to this song seriously. This song also has one of my favorite solos on the album. 04. "Empyreal (Part 2)": Just a continuation of the outro of "Empyreal". Adds in some instrumentals that sound like bongo drums and some synths. Its a cool addition to "Empyreal", but kind of unnecessary. I usually end up skipping it when I listen to the album. 05. "A Serpent's Tongue": Great song, one of my favorites. Quick intro with some of my favorite drums on the record. Then into another fast verse with one of my favorite riffs on the album and a high scream from guitarist/vocalist Josh Middleton. Probably the most impressive song on the album when it comes to rhythm playing, its really fast but the guitars are tight with the drums and bass. Good solo, good bridge, and good outro with one of my favorite lines from the album: "Before you speak and even begin to think/ Remember you're merely a man, and not a god." 06. "Awakening": Not my favorite song on the album, but it's ok. A somewhat boring riff in the beginning, not overly fast or melodic, and the vocals follow likewise. The drums are just as good as always, but the song just seems boring to me. 07. "Kingdom Of Solitude": Great opening riff that mixes melody with fast rhythm. Awesome solo a little into the song. Nothing too remarkable with the vocals until the bridge, where you get the lowest growls from Middleton on the whole album, which lead into the bridge. The bridge has a great melody and flows into the second half of the song greatly. The second half of the song is another one of the best moments on the album. 08. "Where The Sky Ends": An instrumental track that sounds amazing the whole way through. Very somber/sad sounding for the most part but at the same time seems to put you in a good mood. Clean intro, followed by a distorted (but not heavy) riff that brings in an awesome melody. The solos and harmonies all throughout the song make this great to listen to, with the only complaint being that it's too short! 09. "Dystopia": This song starts with the first acoustic guitars that you hear on the record. They are closely followed by the fastest, and heaviest riffs on the album. The drums are extremely awesome and hold the song together very nicely. The vocals come in and add to the very frantic/crazy sound of this song. At the end of the song it goes back into the acoustics, which flow nicely into the next track. Dystopia is probably the heaviest track on the record. 10. "Apparitions": By far the best Song on the album, or even by Sylosis period. A slow clean intro is brought into the verse by the drums in a very interesting way that I'm not quite sure how to describe. The chorus has an awesome melody and the vocals are great. There are crazy guitar solos and drum fills all throughout up until the bridge, which is where the song really starts to get amazing. This is the other moment on the album that gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to it. The song closes with some amazing guitar harmonies and then back into the main riff which is cut off quickly to end the song. 11. "Altered States Of Consciousness": Another song that didn't really stand out much to me, but that might be because it came right after "Apparitions", which is really hard to follow. It's very heavy guitars and drums, with vocals that aren't very special compared to the rest of the album, but fit nicely. Awesome rhythm playing throughout, one of the least melodic songs on the album. 12. "Beyond The Resurrected": Pretty good opening/verse riff, somewhat groove oriented, which is new to the album. Some of my favorite vocals from the album, melodic, but very heavy at the same time, with some cleans that are very haunting and mysterious sounding. A mellow solo with some synths behind it adds a lot to the song. Very good song, one of my favorites. 13. "Eclipsed": This is the song that I have listened to the least on the album. It just seems to be somewhat of a boring filler song to me, didn't offer anything new that the rest of the album didn't already have. It's not bad, it's just nothing special. 14. "Edge Of The Earth": Great closer to the album. Slow, mournful, clean opening leads into an epic sounding melody for the intro. The verse riff is a perfect blend of heavy, (but slow), and melodic. The chorus, with some clean vocals, create a feeling of sadness that seems very fitting for the song and album. Acoustic bridge leads to a very bluesy, clean solo. And a fade-out ending gives a very satisfying ending to the album.
Lyrics — 9
While most of the lyrics are indiscernible because of the screaming vocals, if you read the lyrics in the album booklet, they are very dark. My favorite songs lyrically are "A Serpent's Tongue" and "Apparitions". They're very abstract lyrics, and I can't really say for sure what they're about, but they evoke emotions very fitting to the album. The vocals themselves are amazing. Josh Middleton's screams are very powerful and heavy, but also very melodic. He has great range, from the lowest growls to the highest screams. The cleans are few and far between on this album, and seem somewhat reserved, but when he really opens up his singing, it sounds amazing and suits the song very well. And he does all of this while playing lead guitar, which I find amazing!
Overall Impression — 10
This is the best Sylosis album in my opinion. It's my favorite album right now, even when I consider System Of A Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, and Slipknot, (which were all my favorite bands at some point). The most impressive songs on the album are "Empyreal", "A Serpent's Tongue", "Apparitions", and "Beyond The Resurrected". I don't hate anything about this album, but if there was anything I would improve, I would say bring out the clean singing a little bit more. The singing is really good, but they keep it down so much and it seems so reserved. If this album were stolen I would definitely buy it again. Ever since I bought it, I have listened to it almost exclusively to anything else. It is amazing album in every way and Sylosis is my new favorite band after listening to it. This was my first review and I'm not much of a writer, but this band is very underrated for how good they are, and this album is a masterpiece, so I figured I could try. Hopefully this wasn't too bad.