Sylosis' biggest headline tour to date in the UK was a great way for some of the team from Scribes Of Metal to kick off 2013. Our resident live reviewing wordsmith Ben Alexander tells everyone how it went down...
Kicking off tonight’s technical showcase is the Colchester based ‘bedroom’ guitar hero Paul Ortiz and his project Chimpspanner (8). His band may lack a bassist tonight but they are definitely not lacking in skill. The meticulously crafted flurries of transcendent beauty and his ability to share a story without the need of lyrics is astounding. I thought that a crowd awaiting the crushing riffage of a band like Sylosis would have Chimpspanner’s floaty guitar work go straight over their heads. But The Academy floor soon packs out and they go down brilliantly with the punters. It seems that a respect for their music and a love of technical guitar play has won them over.
Although they may be riding on the crest of a wave of praise for their latest release, Devil Sold His Soul (6) fail to live up to the vast expectation heaped upon them. The numbers at the stage noticeably shrink and the crowd seem a largely unimpressed bar a few kids in tight trousers. Their sample-laced melodic hardcore doesn’t seem to be the most obvious choice for main support and a crowd waiting on thrashy riffs doesn’t seem to be the best place for DSHS to showcase their sound. Credit to the band though, as they did come flying out and played to the fans as if they were their own. The post-hardcore upstarts dropped their third album ‘Empire of Light’ back in September and it has had a great reception, so although it won’t be for everyone, I urge you to give it a chance.
As the final preparations are finished and the intro track begins to play, a confident looking Sylosis (9) step out in front of a full house, ready to conquer the world, starting with Islington. The Reading-based shredders have just unleashed what is possibly their strongest effort to date, ‘Monolith’, and it is every bit as huge as the moniker suggests. Plucking out songs from all three of their full length albums, Sylosis have a hell of a back catalogue to choose from and every riff just solidifies their reputation as a fearsome live unit. Frontman Josh Middleton is in fine form and increasing his confidence in the spotlight with every performance; he immaculately delivers every note and constantly barrages the room with guttural bellows. The rhythm section of the band is as solid as ever with Rob Callard’s precision percussion work and the devastating bottom end beatdown from Carl Parnell’s bass guitar. Couple this with Alex Bailey’s furious lighting riffing and Sylosis prove that they are a tour de force of power and control. All of their material stands up on its own as new tracks from ‘Monolith’ are as warmly received as fan favourites like ‘Empyreal’ and the unrelenting heaviness of ‘Teras’. Every single stage that Sylosis have been put on, they have destroyed and it’s hard to see the momentum stopping now.
One last thing, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming exclusive interview from Sylosis' frontman Josh Middleton here on Scribes Of Metal in the coming days!