Against Magazine

SYLOSIS “Dormant Heart” (Review)

“Dormant Heart”

Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 12 January 2015
Score: 8.5 Stars

[Dormant Heart] feels definitely much more melodic and atmospheric than its predecessor, but it still retains the group’s lightning speed thrash style most of the time.

If you take notice, there are only a handful of newer bands out there playing Thrash Metal at its highest level nowadays. That list becomes even shorter if you look at those very few bands that not only stay true to the ‘80s roots of the genre, but at the same time try to give it a spin and expand that sound further into other territories in order to create their own identity. From these select few, UK’s Sylosis have been getting a much increased and deserved visibility in the past few years. Not only have they shown us that they’ve learned their lessons well from the old masters, but with each album they’ve always had something new to add to the game, ever since they started back in 2000.

“Dormant Heart”, their fourth full length release, is indeed a new stepping stone and a clear progression of the sound that the UK thrashers have been developing ever since “Edge of the Earth” and all through “Monolith”. It feels definitely much more melodic and atmospheric than its predecessor, but it still retains the group’s lightning speed thrash style most of the time. Cuts like the raging “Victims and Pawns”, “Dormant Heart”, “To Build a Tomb”, “Mercy” or “Indoctrinated”, all of them are releases of fast picked, razor sharp and hyper precise riffage masterfully delivered by the guitar duo of Middleton and Bailey, while other tracks like “Servitude”, “Overthrown” or the monumental dual-harmony fest of “Leech”, represent the willingness the band had to get out of the box and explore other paths, having infused several melodic, sludgy and doom-influenced passages throughout these numbers. Along with the nine minute, quasi-progressive, epic finisher “Quiscient” and the limited edition cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ classic “Zero”, which by itself is worth the hearing for being one of the very few attempts of covering Corgan & Co’s songs in the whole metal genre, these songs ultimately ended up giving the album a very appealing and strong character, making it stand out as unique among Sylosis’ discography up to this point.

This really isn’t your typical mix of styles and Chuck Schuldiner’s later work, in which he so brilliantly infused melody into death metal song structures and took that genre itself to a whole other level, can be heard at times as a clear influence in the band’s song structuring method. For this and all of the reasons stated above, “Dormant Heart” is indeed an essential Thrash Metal record according to nowadays standards. Probably more than that, it’s a very much-needed record, which shows that you can bend the rules and progress within a genre that seemed to be somewhat restrictive. It is also a reminder to other acts that you don’t have to stick to the book and re-record those five or six classic ‘80s masterpieces for the fourth of fifth consecutive time. It was just for a matter of days that this record didn’t get into 2014’s best of lists, but it surely will in 2015.



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