Monday, November 19, 2012
Class of 2012: Sylosis - Monolith
Monolith starts thrashy with "Out From Below." Just when you feel like the song can go no further and is about to end (at about 4:00), it keeps going and reaches an outstanding moment at 5:25 as it slows to eventually finish.
Clean vocals are kept to a minimum, but on the next three tracks ("Fear the World," "What Dwells Within," and "Behind the Sun"), Sylosis momentarily become a different band with the inclusion of brief points of clean vocals. During these few seconds at a time, the songs have a very modern metal feel to them.
The middle of the album finds the band at its best. You can tell by the intro to "The River" that this song is going to be good. After its quiet beginning, it turns to thrash. The title track is considerably slower but is nevertheless very strong. And "Paradox" probably has the album's catchiest moment in its chorus.
While listening to Monolith, some big names in metal come to mind for comparisons. "Behind the Sun" sounds like Baroness meets Mastodon for its first 3 minutes. Moreover, the hidden track at the end of the record has quite a bit in common with newer-sounding Baroness. Finally, the first minute and a half of "All is not Well" brings Metallica to mind. None of this means, however, that Sylosis is merely copying its favorite bands.
My only complaint about Monolith is that it runs and feels a little long (and I'm not including the time between album closer "Enshrined" and the hidden track). Nonetheless, Sylosis has put an interesting spin on the thrash that they must have listened to as teenagers.
Grade: B (84.4%)