Conclusion Of An Age

Written by: AP on 15/02/2009 21:52:45

Not to overuse the term, but here I give you Sylosis, the latest and greatest from the pool of bands I like to call shredding from Reading. In 2007, with two extended EP:s and six years of relentless touring behind them, Sylosis received an electronic mail from none other than Nuclear Blast, offering the band the prestige of a record deal with a major metal label. From that contract arose a debut album, "Conclusion Of An Age", the title of which is probably as much a reference to the band's hard-working past as it is about the apocalypse and nature reclaiming our planet.

Immediately it becomes clear that the band's chosen path is similar to Trivium's, modern thrash dozed with bits of metalcore. Indeed, there is something very Trivium-like about the one-minute intro, an unsettling piece that combines the foreboding sound of waves crashing onto a beach with a subtle acoustic melody. It flows neatly into "After Lifeless Years", one of the album's top tracks, which morphs the melody into a rather typical, if captivating metalcore lead and sets the pace for the next fifty-five minutes. All across the album, the band's 80's influences come to light amid squealing solos reminiscent of Slayer and other bay-area thrash acts, and in fact the sound that Sylosis has adopted prompts me to use a term like thrashcore rather than metalcore. The occasional breakdown and the obligatory clean vocals are still present, but predominantly we are dealing with lightning-speed shredding and melodies more diabolic than fans of metalcore might be used to. The closest contemporary comparison that comes to mind would be the late Himsa.

The musicianship here deserves no negative comment, for quite frankly it is nothing short of stunning, and neither would the vocals were it not for the godawful clean parts forced into songs like "Transcendence" and "Last Remaining Light". These parts sound like straight plagiarism from Jesse Leach, albeit much worse - and Jesse's clean vocals never were his strength in the first place. They're that bad. And to make matters worse, the lyrics in those parts are some of the cheesiest, most contrived shit available. Nonetheless, notwithstanding the fact that in most cases a band's vocalist is as important as the sum of the remaining members, the occasional leap into vocal territories Graham should stay away from is not enough to warrant a full blown thrashing, because honestly, it's hard to put a finger on anything else that hasn't been thought through, refined and executed to the maximum of the band's capabilities. If anything, it's lack of variety that's bringing Sylosis down, and even that seems like a minor threat to an hour's worth of some of the finer British metal produce in recent years.

And let's at least accept that statement on a mainstream level (as far as metal can be) to avoid a genre-spanning argument about its validity, because few of their contemporaries can legitimately challenge it, Architects and Bring Me The Horizon being the obvious exceptions. Sylosis can finally claim a position among Britain's metal elite. Having said that, and although it comes close, "Conclusion Of An Age" never quite succeeds in matching the artistic integrity of the two mentioned bands' latest albums, settling instead for a somewhat more recycled approach. Fortunately, that approach is something that Sylosis do better than most, and undoubtedly have their experience and hard work to thank for it.


Download: After Lifeless Years, Reflections Through Fire, Oath Of Silence

For the fans of: Himsa, Trivium, Unearth

Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.01.2009

Nuclear Blast

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