This fourth album by Reading’s Sylosis is one born out of trauma: several months before they started recording it, the band were involved in a serious road accident while touring the States with DevilDriver – and it is this incident which seems to permeate the sense of darkness which pervades yet enlightens this challenging and enigmatic opus.
For ‘Dormant Heart’ is a very dark album, at every level. Addressing, as the band themselves say, “a powerful force unleashing anger against everyday injustice and a sleeping society that lets these things wash over them”, it is appropriately tight and dense, mysteriously provoking a sense of inappropriate calm as it wanders and weaves its way into the listener’s consciousness.
While instantly recognizable as a Sylosis album, ‘Dormant Heart’ provokes and questions, and there is a sense of latent anger in every menacing groove. From the slowly building grind of ‘Where The Wolves Come To Die’ through the purgatorially descendant vibe of ‘Victims And Pawns’ (a song that spits pure venom and acerbic intent) to the demonic monstrousness of the title track, the first third of the album builds the atmosphere in a suitably claustrophic manner, enveloping you in its dark, swirling mists.
‘To Build A Tomb’, with its winding backdrop riff and aggressive delivery, heralds the much darker middle section of the album – an adventure which is frightening and intimidating but ultimately rewarding for the intensely brutal satisfaction which the likes of the absolutely stonking ‘Leech’ inflicts on your now overstretched neck synapses.
‘Dormant Heart’ sees Sylosis taking a risk. Not enough of a one to alienate their existing legions of fans, but rather to get that base thinking and reaffirming their belief in the intent of Josh Middleton and company to constantly push themselves to the limit and redefine the boundaries of their own experiences.
Where The Wolves Come To Die / Victims And Pawns / Dormant Heart / To Build A Tomb / Overthrown / Leech / Servitude / Indoctrinated / Harm / Mercy / Callous Souls / Quiescent
Recommended listening: Leech
‘Dormant Heart’ is released on Nuclear Blast on Monday (January 12).