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Upon my first experience of witnessing UK metallers Sylosis live back in 2009, I concluded my review by stating they "could be set to become the next big thing to emerge from this country in quite some time." Press sheet blurb likewise affirms "the quartet...has been considered as the UK's greatest Metal export." 'Edge of the Earth' is their eagerly awaited follow-up to debut album 'Conclusion of an Age' and I am pleased to report that they have surpassed their initial full-length on all levels, thus justifying such commendation and sweeping claims. Notably, 'Edge of the Earth' sees lead guitarist, and founding member, Josh Middleton assume frontman duties after the departure of vocalist Jamie Graham. And what a remarkably fine job he does with a guttural hardcore-esque delivery and death growls. However, the main impetus and driving force in each of the tracks is some truly awe-inspiring riff-based guitar work from both rhythm player Alex Bailey and Middleton himself. The latter's lead skills which are evidenced through sporadic licks and some virtuosic soloing are also pretty mind-blowing. For example, 'Empyreal (Part 2)' - which is actually an outro piece segued from 'Empyreal' - demonstrates the command he has over his instrument with half sweep-picked/half tapped arpeggios that are as melodically sublime as they are technically flawless. Once again using Scott Atkins to produce, the band apparently "aimed for a more earthy sound this time" with Middleton stating - "We didn't want this album to be quite as polished as the last. We put emphasis on playing with more aggression or feel instead of going for perfection." I cannot refute such intentions with the final recordings although I would argue they have achieved a perfect balance between both the organic and the polished. Sure, the songs do sound "earthy" but they also have a big production. Okay, so perhaps not overtly "polished" but the overall sound of the material is crushingly immense. Compositionally, Sylosis have ventured further into what could be loosely labelled as the "progressive thrash" realm with some innovative twists and turns in their music - possibly the closest us Brits have to a band of the calibre of Darkane in that sense, albeit with a distinct sound of their own. So, in 2011, it's reassuring to be able to say once more that Sylosis could very well be the next big thing to emerge from the UK in quite some time. Mark my words.
Nuclear Blast
Review by Mark Holmes
11th March 2011
1) Procession; 2) Sands of Time
3) Empyreal; 4) Empyreal (Part 2)
5) A Serpents Tongue; 6) Awakening
7) Kingdom of Suicide
8) Where the Sky Ends
9) Dystopia
10) Apparitions
11) Altered States of Consciousness
12) Beyond the Resurrected
13) Eclipsed
14) From the Edge of the Earth
"...Sylosis could very well be the next big thing to emerge from the UK in quite some time."