Review: Sylosis - Cycle of Suffering
After five seemingly very long years, Reading, UK's Sylosis has finally returned with their brand new record Cycle of Suffering. Sylosis has always been a difficult band to categorize. The band may be based off of the classic thrash sound but they manage to put a modern twist on the genre with helpings of metalcore and progressive metal much like their peers Trivium. Very few bands have tried or stuck to this style which leaves Sylosis in a favorable yet tough spot as an outlier in any genre they associate themselves with. Despite losing the vocalist of their fan favorite classic debut Conclusion of an Age, lead guitarist and head creative figure Josh Middleton has been able to assume vocal duties and lead the band to a very well-respected career. In 2016, however Middleton was asked to join Architects as it's new lead guitarist leading to an indefinite hiatus for Sylosis. With a surprise single released in 2019 and a confirmed return questions were raised as to what direction the band would be heading in and the only way to find out is to take a listen.
This new record is much more in line a throwback with the bands EP's and debut record, favoring doses of metalcore that their past several releases had sharply veered away from. The guitars have been tuned down, which the band hasn't done in quite some time as the band has built a reputation as one of the rare modern bands to play in E standard. Don't mistake me though, the band hasn't let their foot off the pedal to any degree in the area of technicality and intriguing arrangements. Cycle of Suffering dose however feel like an attempt by Middleton and crew to reignite some of their previous magic found on Conclusion of an Age but it doesn't feel forced and feels like a natural full-circle revelation for the group.
The band doesn't totally removed their thrash and melodic death metal sensibilities by any means as those genres are still very clearly heard here but in a far more evenly mixed effort with no one genre getting the majority of time. This change in direction might alienate some fans that are strongly against hearing core elements but I can assure you that it's done in the most professional and polished way possible. Cycle of Suffering manages to keep me invested the entire fifty minute length without ever waiting for a track to end. I could list off individual tracks that I loved but in all honesty I'd be listing nearly all of them. There is a great mingling of all out chaotic shredding songs as well as great melodic chantable semi-ballads. The album closes ends beautifully with what is in all likelihood the groups best album closer to date, Abandon.
It's quite confusing that this band receives as little attention as they do and I urge any Architects fans to check out this record as I don't see any way you won't enjoy it. A fitting end to this album with its more earthen, melancholic nature. This record completely blew me away and captivated me for it's entire length. The riffs are out of this world, the drumming is tight and precise, and the song's are heavy yet tastefully melodic. While we're not even two months through 2020 yet, Cycle of Suffering is a clear album of the year contender and gets a perfect 5 out of 5 stars from us.