Conclusion Of An Age
posted on 2/2009 By:
I would gladly trade a Trivium, a Killswitch Engage, and an All That Remains for one Sylosis. Gladly. Hell, take Unearth too. Collectively, I gave their last albums three hours of my life, and I'm still dealing with the slight aftertaste of shit (I'm guessing that's what this taste is, I'm glad that I can't say for sure). So I officially welcome a UK infiltration of my Nu-Thrash Americana.
I must admit that I stepped toward this warily. Whenever the pubescent mouth off and so freely throw down their influences on a profile page, I become a skeptic. Short hair, baby-fat, and a Darkest Hour t-shirt (take those three with a grain of salt, it's a loose and stereotypical interpretation of the genre for the sake of making a point) somehow say to me that while they might think that a band like Forbidden is extremely cool to name-drop, they haven't really lived an album like the iconic Twisted Into Form, nor do they realize the weight or consequence of citing Testament as a footprint to follow. Well, it turns out that five kids from Reading can fly our flag like a genuine frickin' Fourth of July, fireworks and all. It's all too evident in their tasteful thievery that they've got a big heart-on for stateside swill. Simply put, Conclusion Of An Age is all riffed up.
That's what started this love affair. It's essentially a guitar album, but a guitar album with good gear-shifting; the drummer, the bassist, and the singer exist for the sole purpose of steering their constant driving forces. If you take the time to reduce this to its lowest common denominator, you end up with 1990, albeit a 1990 all dressed up in 2009, but a 1990 riff-driven train of thought nonetheless. The acoustic guitar of album opener, "Desolate Seas," bears an eerie resemblance to that of the introduction to Kreator's Coma Of Souls (ok, so Sylosis span the globe a bit), certain charged parts of "The Blackest Skyline" would make for viable Forbidden cutting-room floor scraps, and the pre-chorus in "Reflections Through Fire" absolutely should have featured a guest-vocal by Chuck Billy. With that said, I could go all night puzzle-piecing the other fifty minutes, but what's most important is that Conclusion is a solid hour of the dead-on and the straight ahead, made up of the echoes and shadows of some of the tightest thrashed moments in memory, a.k.a. talent on high. True that it is absolutely not bringing anything new to the table; a stick of dynamite is a stick of dynamite, but on the flipside, you can't simply peg it for blatant plagiarism either. If everything were sacred, we'd never get anywhere.
And yet it's all too sacred for some. Caveat emptor, to the thirty or forty-somethings who fly an older, tattered flag, for it goes without saying that you won't entirely escape the nu-school in this new old-school. These young fresh fellows fashionably scatter the glitz and flash of guitar heroes all over these twelve songs like they've got something to prove, or like it's going out of style.... or maybe it's just that they absolutely have to prove that it's not going out of style. Whatever the case, it's executed with such playful precision that you can't deny the candy in it (track three, "Teras," is this such saccharine). And these nimble fingers meet with nowhere near the amount of actual singing enough to warrant your genre prefixes and suffixes, your faux-hawks, or your karate, but yes, there is a smidge of sentiment in here as well. This will no doubt provide ammo for those quick to pull the trigger, but we're talkin' like little bits and pieces inside of no more than four songs, and while the performance is not outstanding, it is worthy of noting that this kid has got some pipes. He's probably only a few years of second-hand smoke, after-parties, and general road-weariness away from a Rob Flynn.
Sylosis have armed themselves to the teeth with Conclusion Of An Age in such a way that should at least garner them a luke-warm welcome into real Metaldom from the cold-shouldered, and a heatseeking position with those who seek new heat.
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