You won’t suffer through this, though
Time off can work wonders for the soul and creative spirit—especially when that time off comes via what could’ve seemed to some like a certain demise. Just ask Josh Middleton, the frontman of Reading, Berkshire’s Sylosis, for instance. After a car accident that injured the whole band, Sylosis were seemingly back on their feet, until longtime drummer Rob Callard announced he would be stepping away from his pedaled duties. The hiatus that succeeded concerned fans, who were convinced their thrash days were over and traded in by Middleton for joining metalcore band Architects. Middleton still isn’t necessarily confident in where Sylosis stands as a faction but after five years since their last Dormant Heart, they’ve finally come back with Cycle of Suffering. It appears that time away has done them some good.
Proof of this can be heard sprinkled throughout the record’s 12 songs. There’s “Empty Prophets” and “I Sever,” which as a pair start the album off with a wild, frantic energy that mixes melodic metal and thrash with justice. Cycle of Suffering is a bit strange in the sense that there is a consistency of heaviness throughout it, but its real power seems to come in pairs. The next considerable moment of whoa arrives at the beginning of “Shield,” where a small intro of quiet builds into this large swath walloping drums. It goes perfectly with “Calcified,” a track rife with explosive bleakness.
The album closes on some high notes as well, but particularly with the final “Abandon.” It picks up on some acoustic notes foreshadowed in “Arms Like a Noose,” by introducing how moments of softness can make for good additions. Yet “Abandon” leans closer towards Sylosis’ attempt at a ballad than a hard-hitting track. It burns through its runtime slowly but effectively, giving off more of a sense of mourning than something provoking circle pits and two steps.
Cycle of Suffering turned out to be a balanced yet matured record for Sylosis. They’ve compartmentalized their past efforts and trials into a balanced package that could hold up as a final release if need be. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, though.