Revisited: SYLOSIS’ “Monolith”

Original Portuguese version in Heaven Is Not Too Far.

1000x1000There are bands who suffer from “the hard third album syndrome”. And then there are bands who, by the contrary, release their best work (to date) on the third strike – like SYLOSIS.

The musical foundation is still progressive thrash, just like the previous “Edge Of The Earth”, but its definition has reached a new level of creation.

That perception isn’t immediate, since the opening track “Out From Below” is essentially classic thrash. A melodic, somewhat melancholic intro, a few guitar embellishments here and there, rhythm at full speed… There’s, however, a concern in “polishing up the edges”. Despite all its aggression, it’s not a raw, dirty sound. And about five minutes later, when the guitar solo comes in, that’s when the progressive metal is undoubtedly felt.

The tempo changes throughout the songs are obviously there, of which I highlight “What Dwells Within” and “Behind The Sun” – the first having singer Josh Middleton trying a deep but clean vocal tone in one of the slower passages.

Slow and ominous, in an almost doom style, comes the title-track. It reveals another side of SYLOSIS, but without making us doubt that it’s a SYLOSIS song.

In contrast to “Monolyth”, “A Dying Vine” is probably the most explosive track in this album. And then “Paradox” is the most groovy and “Born Anew” brings together the best of speed with the best of melody.

Wrapping it all up we’ve got the “epic” theme of the album – not so much in how it sounds but rather for how long it lasts. “Enshrined” plays out as progressive thrash with glimpses of melodic death, as the majority of the other songs, but in an 8:40-minute package. The total track, however, lasts 19:16 as it contains a hidden track, some sort of ballad, which kicks off after three minutes of silence.

It was a shame that they pulled out of the Epic Industrialist Tour with FEAR FACTORY and DEVIN TOWNSEND. The quality SYLOSIS show in the studio, especially in this album, must be worthy of experiencing live.

Label: Nuclear Blast

Producer: Romesh Dodangoda

Track list:

  1. Out from Below
  2. Fear the World
  3. What Dwells Within
  4. Behind the Sun
  5. The River
  6. Monolith
  7. Paradox
  8. A Dying Vine
  9. All Is Not Well
  10. Born Anew
  11. Enshrined

About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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