Sylosis – Dormant Heart

Sylosis
“Dormant Heart”
Progressive thrash metal
Released on 23rd January 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo Sylosis - Dormant Heart - Artwork_zpskanzbtgs.jpg

Whether you like Sylosis or not, you can’t accuse them of writing mellow songs. So you’ve probably figured out that this title, “Dormant Heart”, has nothing to do with the music featured in it but with the lyrical content (not to mention the catchy, poetic ring it bears). What you may not know is what inspired it. Frontman Josh Middleton has said that it’s about those people – who sadly represent a large percentage of the world population – who just go with the flow, accepting the way things are and what society tells them to be right. People who need a wake-up call to get a new perspective on life. Now, I’m pretty sure none of the members in Sylosis fit in such category, but they’ve faced that kind of wake-up call in September 2013, on a driving accident while on tour, and it’s become a major influence on the writing process of “Dormant Heart”. I’m not telling you this just as a curiosity; after all, Sylosis have always written about the human mind, inner struggles and so-on. The difference is that this time its intensity is stronger, more compelling, as it doesn’t come from what they perceive but from something they’ve experienced; it comes from something more personal.

More intense and more somber. The first track, “Where Wolves Come To Die”, is a pretty sorrowful tune that I still look at as an intro: far shorter than all other tracks, the tension builds without actually exploding, until it abruptly comes to its end. Even though the following track, “Victims And Pawns”, doesn’t take on from where the other left it – kicking off with a thrashing attitude (the “explosion” missing in its predecessor) – it meets the same vibe as “Where Wolves…” at some point in the middle of song, before resuming the thrash speed and again the doom-ish vibe with which it ends (typical prog, when you think of it). So yeah, “Where Wolves Come To Die” screams “intro” to me.

I don’t want to sound too much like the official press release for this, but the truth is that “Dormant Heart”’s distinctive features are indeed its rich riffs – both in number and composition – , solos and breakdowns. I dare saying that the best combination of those resulted in “Overthrown”, “Indoctrinated” and “Mercy”. “Leech” as well, but this one deserves an additional note: the way the guitars sound so vibrant in that beginning reminds me of how Judas Priest “Hellion” makes way to “Electric Eye”. Please note that I am NOT comparing the songs but their effect on your senses and their nature – classy and epic. Although the guitar seems to cry its strings out in the solo, very lament-wise, very eighties-heavy-metal-like. Yes, I confess – it’s my favorite.

But all in all, every song here has the potential to be someone’s favorite (hence the “I dare saying”, as you’ll probably name other songs yourself). Even the 9-minute ballad “Quiescent”, which personally I’m not very fond of, but where I recognize a great job nonetheless.

You know how most bands claim to have released their “best work so far” when they have a new album? Occasionally they’re right. And Sylosis are definitely right.

4,5/5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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