Classic Album Review – Dormant Heart by Sylosis (2015)

Hi there and welcome back to another edition of the Classic Album Review Series.

Today, I will be looking at Sylosis’ collossal 4th album, Dormant Heart. Sylosis are a heavy metal band hailing from Reading, England. I found their music as recently as 2018 and it’s safe to say they have become unquestionably one of my all time favourite bands.

I don’t remember which order I listened to their albums, but Dormant Heart, their most recent work, is the one that stands out the most.

The most impressive aspect of this album is its ability to be diverse, yet sound so consistent across the board. There’s the intense thrashy moments of “Indoctrinated”, a song in similar style to “A Dying Vine” from Sylosis’ third album “Monolith”, but also the more sombre quieter moments of “Quiescent” and in the outro of “Dormant Heart”. Both “Mercy” and “Leech” have their own little thing going on, with their outros featuring profoundly around simple but distinctive melodies that lead you out of the heavy riffing and screamed vocals that are peppered across the album. “To Build A Tomb” features a memorable main riff, which has a very Eastern feel to it, whilst “Servitude” is no doubt the chuggiest song on this record. To have so many different ideas on an album is risky, as it is susceptible to sounding disjointed, but Sylosis have managed to weave these parts together into a beautiful piece of art.

Stylistically this is much unlike anything Sylosis have done before, mainly because there are very little metalcore influences on “Dormant Heart”. Sylosis have delved into the arena of using mostly thrash and progressive elements in their music, and it has enabled them to mature their sound somewhat, without losing the raw edge their music is so well known for. That being said, “Victims & Pawns” does include a breakdown and a fairly catchy chorus, as catchy as it can get when the vocalist is screaming his lungs out, but in the context of the song it works very well.

It’s also worth mentioning the intro here, “Where The Wolves Come To Die” is a curious little opener, in that it sounds neither like an intro or a fully fleshed out song, instead it is a hybrid between the two. It adds another interesting stylistic dimension to the record.

The general mood and feel of the album is very dark, doomy and mysteriously atmospheric. You can tell that a lot of work was put in to make the record sound this way, utilised primarily through the guitar sound, but theres also a certain amount of atmospheric sounds used, such as creaking gates and doors at the start of “Where The Wolves Come To Die”, and eerie church bells at the end of “Callous Souls”.

“Dormant Heart” is a fantastic modern day metal album, and I would highly recommend any heavy metal fan to check this album out. It combines heavy crushing riffs with interesting progressive elements and some unique atmospheric details which adds a certain greyness to an already gloomy and angry record.

Sylosis are currently on hiatus, with lead singer Josh Middleton performing guitarist duties for the band “Architects”, however they have promised new music for us all in the near future and I’ll be sure to give it a listen, and then review it of course!

Thanks for reading. See you next time.

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