Sylosis have made some pretty nice waves in the vast ocean that is metal. Since guitarist Josh Middleton and bassist Carl Parnell formed Sylosis in 2000, they have gone through many lineup and stylistic changes. Over the course of three albums and two EPs, their sound has slowly evolved from new thrash to adding elements of power, prog, and death into the mix. This was never more evident than on their ambitious 2012 concept album, “Monolith.” This year, after a bad RV accident and another lineup change, Sylosis is back with another diverse effort. “Dormant Heart” was released through Nuclear Blast Records on January 13, 2015.
The album starts slow, but deliberate with ‘Where the Wolves Come to Die.’ Even though the track is short, it is not an intro to anything other than the brilliant aggression that follows it on the rest of the album. The auditory weights of the guitar riffs on this record are deafening. The guitar work of Josh Middleton and Alex Bailey goes from absolutely boulder crushing to saw tooth shredding.
Songs like ‘Victims and Pawns,’ ‘Indoctrinated,’ and ‘Mercy’ gallop and blister through, leaving a vapor trail behind. Then songs like the title track, ‘Overthrown,’ and ‘Callous Souls’ fluctuate between agro thrash riffs and melodic passages. Middleton’s continually developing voice soars through the gaping choruses.
The middle of the album brings the pace down a bit, but it only keeps you engaged and on your toes. Tracks like ‘To Build a Tomb,’ ‘Leech,’ ‘Servitude,’ and ‘Harm’ amp up the melody, the groove, and even the doom at times to add to the heaviness. Then there is the closer, ‘Quiescent.’ The song starts out slow, acoustic, and with Middleton singing a clean vocal, making you think the album is going to end with a whimper. Instead, it gets darker and creepier as the song progresses. The song builds to a multi-layered, gut wrenching conclusion, fading out with a haunting guitar/organ loop.
Self-produced, “Dormant Heart” is the kind of record that gets better with every spin. Sylosis has taken old school thrash, progressive, melodic death, and doom metal and wrapped it into one dark, heavy, spikey package. With every album, like Pantera, Sylosis seems to get more pissed off, more focused, and better at executing their vision. “Dormant Heart” is the most complete album Sylosis has produced to date, and I expect them to only get better.