Sylosis – Monolith (2012) – Album Review

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I’m quite late on reviewing this album as I never got a chance to listen to it in it’s entirety until recently and I honestly don’t know why. But here goes, I’ll do another track by track review, with a verdict at the end.

Song Analysis

Out From Below – The opening epic track starts of with an ominous guitar intro and a slow heavy riffs. Heavy riffs for E standard tuned guitars meaning you don’t have to go low to be brutal as Hell. After a minute the song kicks in proper with heavy guitar riffs as well as some interesting harmony sections that break up the track (they sound like harmonies). Josh’s brutal voice delivers a stellar performance straight away and the vocal lines hook you. The chorus I really like, catchy yet still insanely brutal. The middle section brings forth the ‘epic parts’ that the band frequently say their music incorporates. This section builds up into a nice head bobbing section, changing tempos (generally just half time and double time). The guitar solo shows off the guitarists brilliant skills but isn’t to fast it’s just a blur of notes. The ending too is exceptionally epic.

Fear The World – Another slow eerie intro for this song. I think it breaks up the songs quite nicely doing this, and it’s not over done either. This intro is much fast and it leads straight into the song. The guitar lines sound incredibly complicated, especially when Josh has to sing whilst playing these at the same time. The rhythms are really interesting in this song, and some sections where the instruments bounce off of each other is brilliant.

What Dwells Within – Another fast paced, brutally voiced song with incredible lead and epic parts. Opening three tracks are almost the embodiment of Sylosis yet they still show the progression they’ve made throughout the other albums. The song changes pace in the middle and slows down, Josh (I think) sings clean as well but this quickly changes with a pulverising section. Again however it slows down, keeping it interesting. A melodic guitar solo is included which is a nice retreat from some of Josh’s blitzkrieg guitar lines. However the end section is a mix of epic and skull crushing, brilliant.

Behind The Sun – Something with a title like is this is definitely going to be epic in some sense. The tempo is slower, more of a head bang again but not Doom slow. This may be one of my favourites, seems as though it has the perfect balance of what makes up Monolith. Some of the rhythmic sections remind me of an Opeth song that Opeth never wrote, but Sylosis made it their own. Clean vocals again are used mixed with screams in some parts. The guitar solo utilises memorable licks and the arpeggios used when the song builds up the speed are really nice.

The River –  Changed my mind, I think this is one of my favourites, though I’m sure I’ll change as the album goes along. The track returns to the insanity that Sylosis can spill from their instruments. Not even sure that sentence makes sense but this tracks f***ing killer. Wall to wall riffs, rhythmic changes and gnarly vocals. To me the middle feels like the songs ending leaving you wanting more. It’s so epic. Make you want to see them live. Not even sure I can say much about it other than it’s awesome.

Monolith – The title track was weirdly as much as I’d listen to. I don’t know why I stopped, I enjoyed it, I just think maybe I was busy every time I got a chance to . Also I have been ill recently so sometimes I have to listen to something easier… or sleep. ANYWAY. Monolith. More doom influenced I think (it’s slower pace, that’s my naive logic). Plenty of head bobbing in this song but also a chance to go crazy. Clean guitars break up the track in the middle and this section gives a nice breath of fresh air. The last 2-3 minutes of this track are absolutely epic too.

Paradox – Just realising with the first minute of this track how diverse Josh’s vocals actually are. Some singers like this only really focus on the lows or the highs but he seems to be able to tap into every aspect of ‘brutal singing’ as some may call it. The chorus sounds like a thousand people are screaming it in unison which I’m sure Sylosis will no doubt will be able to make people do some day soon. Sometimes listening to this music just makes me think, the slow parts that build up into the fast parts seem as though they’re giving us a break before we get our mind blown. A very epic track once again. One of the better ones.

A Dying Vine – The first of two ‘singles’ released on the same day. Well, this one was released whilst the other was played on Dan Carter’s Rock Show. Instantly liked it, I can see why this was one of the tracks released. It’s spine breaking, mega pace and huge guitar lines and drums that never seem to stop. Still baffled that Josh can sing and play these at the same time. First guitar solo is a quick one but at the speed played probably contains more notes than I’ve played on the guitar in my life. The pace halves with an absolutely disgusting breath of Josh’s, evil voice, don’t know how he does it without blowing up his voice box. Won’t have much to say on this as anyone reading this has probably already heard it, but it’s a good song but definitely not the best on the album.

All Is Not Well – A slow opener, riffs, but slow. Definite head bobbing is required. Try not to, I dare you. Even when the drums come in a bit quicker it’s still pretty slow paced. Probably one of the easiest to listen to, when the song builds up the tempo it’s still not entirely thrash metal. Well until you’re after the middle of the song. Love it when the song breaks and goes back into the slow riff from the start too. Quite like this track.

Born Anew – The second track that was released before the album. Played on Dan Carter’s show but unfortunately I missed the showing. The drums make it another slow song but the guitar lines are very fast.  Guitar solo is a very interesting mix of hammer ons and pull offs as well as maybe a dash of sweeping? Blend of melody with a hint of shred. The riffs are sick in this one.

Enshrined – This track is listed as 20 minutes long. So it’s a big one. Before listening I bet it will be fast, full on, melodic, epic and brilliant. Guitar lines are great in the first verse. Yep, ultra mega sick thrash now. Rhythmic changes are a constant. 3 minutes in clean vocals and a nice acoustic guitar passage reveal themselves but these are quickly overtaken my the brutality of the next chapter in this epic. When Josh bellows “Bring me to my knees” you can really feel some emotion and you can feel the song really resonates. Though listed as 20 minutes the track ends after 5. I can see why people were a bit annoyed as the gap between this and the ‘hidden track’ isn’t short but if that’s the only complaint people have about the album they should be bloody grateful that that’s the only thing wrong. Around the 15 minute mark an acoustic a piano track starts. The vocals are really nice and it’s a truly great way of ending the album. The heavy guitars return and the song fades away. Epic.

First Time Listener- Out From Below

Favourite Track – The River

Verdict

Not usually into this genre of music, but Sylosis I really like. This album is great, a lot of people have said they’re going to be the next big metal act, at least in Britain. Now that they’re touring with Lamb Of God I can see this happening sooner than we thought. These guys are really clever musicians and know when something is good and when something isn’t. They made something really good with this album. I wasn’t bored at all and most of it was musically interesting which is always a bonus nowadays. The ONLY major criticism is the long gap between the hidden track and the main bulk of Enshrined but… do I really care? Am I too lazy to get my iPod out my pocket and fast forward? No. So for that, well done boys you do Britain proud.

Also this may be a small thing but buy it, the artwork is really cool! Heavily inspired by Greek Mythos… and Greek Mythology is cool! If any disagrees you’re an idiot.

Score = 9.5/10 Stars.

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