Sylosis - Dormant Heart
Nuclear Blast
Melodic Death/Thrash
12 songs (59:14)
Release year: 2015
Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

It's hard not to feel a sneaking tug of respect for the likes of Sylosis. Formed in 2000, these four lads from Reading, England have been quietly plugging away at a form of metal generally ignored by a lot of the underground. Surviving the rise and fall of metalcore, Sylosis have put out album after album of solid death/thrash tinged with their own personality, and although I've never liked them enough to call myself a fan before, this, their fourth full-length, may just do it. Those fifteen years in the business (six years before releasing anything) have ensured some more than decent instrumental chops, after all – the music here is riff-driven, tight and technical. And by now the band have honed their songwriting enough to make Dormant Heart a solidly enjoyable listen.

Moody intro Where the Wolves Come to Die sets the scene well, pounding drums, melodic doom-esque riffs and snarled vocals building up to an expected explosion with first track proper Victims and Pawns, somewhere between old Sepultura and Machine Head and initially sounding very much like an album of a decade ago. Fortunately, the band's speed and energy propel them onwards, having the aggression of The Haunted and a touch of Insomnium-esque gloom, particularly towards the second half of the track, where the tempo is slowed and there's even some tribal percussion thrown in alongside a more atmospheric approach. This is what elevates Sylosis beyond anything you've heard a thousand times before, because although still very familiar to seasoned metal ears, Dormant Heart puts these elements together well enough for songs to feel of 2015 rather than 2005.

This feeling continues through an album which occasionally feels like it could have done with better editing at nearly an hour long, but which rewards patience on the listener's part. The likes of the title track and Servitude battle along well enough, throwing in little atmospheric sections to relieve the slightly repetitive riffs of bearing the song's weight, but tracks like To Build A Tomb reveal what Sylosis are really capable of, throwing in almost Middle-Eastern influences and sounding like the sadly gone Bleeding Through. When pushing outside the default death/thrash template, Sylosis are terrific – the tech-thrashy opening to Overthrown, for example, with the track continuing into upper-tier, Psycroptic levels. Leech and Mercy are the sort of thing I'd like to hear from In Flames these days, a melodic death base with a heavy side dosage of rock n'roll (complete with heavy-vocalled-chorus and riff motif!) while Indoctrinated makes good usage of its melodic sections.

Sure, things get a little repetitive and lack identity deep in the tracklisting. But fortunately there are almost no instantly-dated clichéd metalcore breakdowns, the likes of Harm choosing tech-death-y widdly guitar leads to take focus, and solid tracks like Callous Souls are the band at their pumped-up best, mixing headbangable thrash and slower, atmospheric doomdeath to great effect. Nine-minute finale Quiescent opens with clean vocals and acoustic strums, and builds into a nicely proggy number that only really introduces the metal halfway through and goes full melodic doom afterwards. No, it's nothing new, and yes, the quality varies, but those who miss, say, Lamb of God will find a lot of energetic, fun metal here, and for a band that have toiled this far Sylosis deserve positive coverage.

Killing Songs :
Victims and Pawns, To Build A Tomb, Overthrown, Leech, Harm, Mercy, Callous Souls, Quiescent
Goat quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Sylosis that we have reviewed:
Sylosis - Edge of the Earth reviewed by Kynes and quoted 87 / 100
Sylosis - Conclusion Of An Age reviewed by Kyle and quoted 90 / 100
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