Sylosis - _The Conclusion of an Age_
(Nuclear Blast, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
It has been a long time coming, and I'll admit that I have probably been one of its most vocal unbelievers over the last few years, but after a slumber that seemed to coincide with the start of the '90s, the sun is finally shining on English metal. Lest citizens of the Queen's country unleash a torrent of abuse in my general direction, allow me to point out that I am acutely aware of the exceptions over the last decade; but in terms of sheer volume of quality heavy acts and -- perhaps more importantly -- emerging talent, the UK hasn't been this fruitful in ages.

This segues nicely into the reason for this article: Reading's Sylosis. This quintet has inexplicably been less prolific than some on the local gig circuit, but their Nuclear Blast debut leaves little room to argue that they are destined to become a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Injecting old-school thrash with several shots of death and black metal's dynamics and extremity, _The Conclusion of an Age_, with its heady concept of humanity on the decline, is an ambitious undertaking for a band this young. Yet tracks like "The Blackened Skyline" and "Withered" instantly allay any fears over whether the lads are up to the task, as they layer lush, often atmospheric melodies over a tidal wave of heavy that's nothing if not blistering.

Jamie Graham's vocals on the titanic "Reflections Through Fire" recall a latter-day Ihsahn, and even when slipping into clean singing he loses none of his impact. The rest of the band aren't slack in making an impression either, and truth be told, had they not made two minor schoolboy errors by first including a fairly bog-standard intro and then misfiring horribly on "Transcendence", _The Conclusion of an Age_ could have been the sort of perfect debut that some bands spend a career trying to equal.


(article published 7/11/2008)

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