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Dormant Heart

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2015
Genre: Thrash, Melodic Death
Reviewer: Greg Watson

  • Catchy, infectious riffs

  • UK group Sylosis return with album number four "Dormant Heart". Having really carved a name out for themselves with 2008's debut "Conclusion of an Age", the band has been in a groove ever since. "Dormant Heart" continues that trend, delivering a more pissed off and angry album that has the same catchiness and appeal that the band's previous three releases had.

    "Where the Wolves Come to Die" is effective enough as an opener to set the stage for "Victims and Pawns" perfectly. The instant "Victims and Pawns" kicks in, it is clear that the gloves are off and that Sylosis aren't pulling punches anymore, they're going straight for the knockout blow. Vocalist, guitarist and founder Josh Middleton has really harshened up his vocals and given a bit more growl to them on this album. The anger and venom in his delivery meshes perfectly with the aggressive riffing that makes this album damn near irresistible. Tracks like "Dormant Heart", "Overthrown" and "Harm" are just great thrash-influenced tracks. The riffs on these songs will not leave your head once you hear them. "To Build a Tomb" has this incredible Eastern-sounding riff that just infests your psyche like a ghostly beetle that's one goal is to burrow and live in your brain. The surprise track of the album is "Quiescent", the closing track. It starts off with this beautiful acoustic riff and Middleton's clean, emotive vocals swirling around the riff. As the song progresses, the acoustic guitar is replaced with a heavily distorted electric guitar playing the same riff and Middleton's vocals go from soothing to tortured and more growled, giving the album a unique blend of distinction between mellow and heavy that complements each other frighteningly well. You won't find many bands attempting an ambitious track like this.

    The combo of Middleton and Alex Bailey on guitar has really figured out how to craft these catchy, infectious riffs without the use of breakdowns or down tuned guitars. The production is impeccable on "Dormant Heart" complimenting the album to perfection. Sylosis have set the bar high for pending releases that are on the coming horizon of 2015. Be warned, this album could well be a contender for album of the year and could very easily be an album that you won't be able to put down once you start listening to it.

    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Sylosis:
    Dormant HeartSylosis
    Greg Watson7/24/2015

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