It have been three years since they released their conceptalbum Monolith and now they have returned with Dormant Heart, the fourth installment in their discography.
The songs Mercy and Leech were the first to be released and they already made me really excited for the album. Leech was also my favorite song of 2014 since it’s not only brimming with drive and power but also features a very heavy, emotional chorus that showcases Josh’s vocal quality really well.
After the short intro, the songs Victims and Pawns and the title track show that the band stays true to their sound. Those songs are Sylosis in their essence, unrelenting thrash riffing flavored with melody and atmosphere.
Right after that To Build a Tomb features oriental sounding riffs and the first gloomy background riffs of the album. The most noteworthy part of the song is definitely the intense ending.
The more remarkable parts on the rest of the album are the absolutely insane riffing in the first half of the thrash monster called Indoctrinated and the very dynamic, floaty drum- and guitarplay on Harm.
Quiescent is the last song before the bonus track and also the most ambitious song on the album with a playtime of 9 minutes. The first half of the song features clean vocals and acoustic guitars and builds up to a cathartic part with very high pitched, drawn out screams over several layers of guitars. After that the music fades out into what I believe to be a dulcimer playing over some ambient guitars.
The bonus track, Pillars Erode, is also worth mentioning since it’s a bit more experimental than the rest of the album. It features a heavily atmospheric first half with a lot of doom and gloom kicking in shortly after the halfway point of the song.
Overall the band experiments a lot with their old style. Many parts of the album sound reminiscent of their previous records, but the band doesn’t shy away from adding more atmospheric riffing or using Josh’s clean voice a bit more.
I like the gloomier parts that come through in songs like To Build a Tomb and Leech as well as the doom influences on songs like Pillars Erode. The remarkable elements of Sylosis’ sound also haven’t really changed with Josh’s vocals and riffing still being the figurehead in their music.
Despite all that I have a few gripes with the album. There’s a very noticeable picking sound in the slower parts of the album that I’ve heard on a few other albums by other bands before. I don’t know if it’s caused by the production or the guitar pick-ups but atleast for me it is annoying since it sounds really inorganic and glitchy.
I also think that the drumbeat on the intro of Callous Souls is a bit overused and the chorus on Harm, unfortunately, gets old pretty fast.
In the end though, Dormant Heart is a success and probably Sylosis’ most characteristic album to date.