After five very long years, Sylosis has finally returned with their sixth album, Cycle of Suffering. Their last effort, Dormant Heart, came out back in 2015 and was probably one of their best albums they had released. Cycle of Suffering takes you on a trip of several musical genres with deep roots in thrash but captures the sounds of death and groove metal. Frontman Josh Middleton had put the band on hiatus after joining fellow UK heavyweights, Architects, after the passing of their guitarist, Tom Searle. However, it looks like he kept a plethora of riffs locked away for this album, as this record garners him the title of “Riff Beast.”
The first song off the album is “Empty Prophets,” and it is one of the strongest tracks, which makes it the best opener for the record. It has everything you missed about Sylosis—the fast and intricate riffs, the anger and velocity in Josh’s voice, and the overall ensuing emotion. The song clocks in a little over three minutes, but it brings such optimism to the rest of the record.
The single tracks such as “I Sever” and “Calcified” remind me of the band’s third album, Monolith, because of the production value mixed with Josh’s melodic, guttural intensity, which is, without a doubt, one of his strongest talents as a frontman.
“Invidia” is another demonstration of such melodic, guttural singing from Josh, but more so an example of how songs can so seamlessly go from fast and aggressive to slow and melodic. Often times, bands have trouble combining soft and hard elements into one song. Fortunately for Sylosis, they figured out this technique and mastered its artform.
What makes this record so enticing is the sharp execution of rhythm in each song. Beatdown riffs are tastefully peppered throughout this album. Whether it’s the riff a minute and a half into “I Sever” or the downward strike heard two minutes into the title track. The aggressive punch of each chug really digs deep and resonates throughout.
Sylosis knows how to end a song in a climactic fashion. If you need proof, listen to the crushing riff during the last minute of the title track or “Arms Like a Noose” and try not banging your head to it. Be as it may, the song with the best closer is “Apex of Disdain.” The track is phenomenal from beginning to end and exhibits a fantastic guitar tone while tapping into the Pantera realm of thrashy and groovy licks. If they ever play this song live, I can only expect that a circle pit of pure chaos will erupt.
The final song of this twelve-track voyage is none other than, “Abandoned,” which brings a calming atmosphere to the entire record. Josh exhibits that he has more to his arsenal than just his ferocious screams and utilizes clean vocals throughout the majority of the song. The frontman has already proven that he has incredible clean vocals in older songs, such as Monolith’s “Enshrined,” and should be implementing them more often.
Overall, Cycle of Suffering is another excellent effort by Sylosis and exemplifies their songwriting ability. This is an album that requires a multitude of listens to grasp each aspect of the band’s sound. Fans of Lamb of God, Gojira, and Pantera will relish in the technical proficiencies of groove and melody rooted in this record.
Sylosis’ Cycle of Suffering was released on February 7th via Nuclear Blast. If you haven’t yet, you can order the album here.