Album: Cycle of Suffering
Genre: Progressive Heavy Metal/Thrash
Label: Nuclear Blast
Location: Reading, United Kingdom
FFO: Unearth, Feared, Darkest Hour
Cycle of Suffering shows off the best production Sylosis has ever had. It’s always great to hear a very talented band up their quality to give you the best possible end product. That’s not the only thing they enhanced though. To me, this is their hardest hitting record as well. It’s not always about how many open notes or chugs you can hit that determines the heaviness of a record. It’s about the placement and arrangement of those chugs and everything else surrounding them. Sometimes what a heavy riff needs to be great is a good buildup and breakaway. I’m not saying this because it’s rare knowledge, but because Sylosis does it perfectly. It’s no wonder Architects picked up Josh Middelton as their lead guitarist. Not only is he a great guitar player, I think his voice is decently diverse too, especially for this genre. He has his rough vocals but his voice also features more of an actual tone and singing quality to it at times. Which is something Sam Carter has as well.
This whole record is well put together. One song after another builds up more and more energy into the listener. Most of the album will without a doubt have you banging your head. One of, if not my only complaint is certain parts can sound over used. The songs are well put together and diverse, with non stop energy. But I did find myself at times feeling like I’ve heard this before. They tend to use this open chord chug that, although badass, is recognizable in more than a few of the songs doing the same pattern. That might sound typical and expected, but you’ll see what I mean if you give this album a listen. Call it rhythm, because there’s usually much more going on with it, but the guitars are so powerful that it’s hard to avoid the fact it can be a bit repetitive. I can give it a pass though because at least it’s not annoying. It sounds great every time.
Front to back, every song on this LP is good. This makes it extremely listenable. If you ask me, there’s nothing better than a very listenable record. You can turn this on at any time, starting at any song. Lyrically, for the most part, this album is creative. Very metaphorical and detailed in what they want to say. Many in which the title reflects. Themes of suffering, and the endlessness of it. Everyone experiences it in one way or another. Many of these songs tear up that theme through blasting heavy speeds such as “Devils In Their Eyes”. One of my favorites on the album simply because of that breakdown. The last song on the album ‘Abandon’ however, sends you off with a slower gloomy tone yet a feeling of “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel”. A true moment of vulnerability for the band that I appreciated more than almost any other peak on this record.
When bands take a hiatus and come back, often enough they aren’t as good as they once were. Sylosis seems to have needed it. Not as if they were bad and needed a break. But I don’t think we would have gotten an album like this if it wasn’t for some time off. Sometimes that’s what artists need to do in order to come back loaded with ideas and inspiration. I’m very happy with ‘Cycle of Suffering’. If it wasn’t for some slightly over used rhythms, this might just be perfect.
Strongest Song: Devils In Their Eyes
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sylosis/191950242