Since the release of their 2008 debut album, ‘Conclusion of an Age’, Sylosis have gone on to establish themselves as one of the UK’s hottest new metal acts after an impressive run of festival appearances. With ‘Edge of the Earth’, they will undoubtedly be hoping to build on this success and break out of the underground.
Although the band have talked in interviews of this album displaying a greater musical maturity and sense of development, nothing has changed radically; the lightning-fast shredding, technical riffs, and intense drum lines are still present throughout, forming the core of Sylosis’ melodic death-metal sound. While some moments show a different side to the band and act to build tension suitably, it’s still recognisably the Sylosis of old. While this is not strictly a bad thing when you’re as good as these guys are, you sometimes get the feeling that some of the tracks on ‘Edge of the Earth’ simply act as an extension of ‘Conclusion of an Age’.
Having said this, the sheer technical skill of the band has the ability to raise eyebrows and please all those that listen to them. Lead guitarist Josh Middleton’s superb Steve Vai-influenced guitar solo around three minutes into ‘Empyreal’ acts as a reminder that Sylosis are one of the most talented bands around today. Since last year, Middleton has also taken on the role of lead vocalist after the departure of Jamie Graham, and it is change that provides one of the most noticeable differences between ‘Edge’ and ‘Conclusion’. Whether this is for better or worse is a matter of personal opinion, but what can be said is that Middleton handles vocal duties impressively over the course of the album.
It goes without saying that Sylosis aren’t the kind of band who will appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking for the antidote to breakdown-obsessed ‘deathcore’ pretty-boys, Sylosis could be just what you’re looking for. While ‘Conclusion of an Age’ is arguably more essential listening, ‘Edge of the Earth’ is undoubtedly the sound of a band who are on their way to much bigger things.