Sylosis: Monolith (Nuclear Blast)
Reading is for the most part not somewhere you would associate with metal, it is the home of indie rock due to the festival however the exception are Sylosis as they bring bone crushing, face melting modern thrash metal to the masses. Since the last record (the fantastic Edge Of The Earth) the band have streamlined their sound and it finally feels like they have found their true sonic pitch which is somewhere between the modern thrash of Machine Head and the classic sound of Metallica, the band are technical, aggressive and heavy as hell and on Monolith this has all been maxed out to it furthest end. The lead guitar of Josh Middleton is absolutely awesome with the progressive Behind The Sun providing some fantastic solos and lots of amazing lead breaks. The drumming also is phenomenal with A Dying Vine (which also has some sublime acoustic playing) and the metalcore title track providing the best examples.
The album is bookended by two fantastic songs the first is the thrash attack of Out From Below which wouldn't have looked out of place on The Blackening or ...And Justice For All and final track is the crushingly heavy Enshrined which ends the album in brilliant style. There is just so much to like about this album, it encompasses everything that makes these British thrashers great, Middleton's voice is the best it has ever been, the songs vary from classic thrash to groove metal on All Is Not Well, add to this the Gothenburg sound of Paradox and even a bit of Toolesque darkness on What Dwells Within. This is a thoroughly modern metal album full of technical playing, great songs and crisp production; Sylosis are a British band doing this type of things as good as or even better than their American counterparts. 10/10
Cauldron: Tomorrow's Lost (Earache)
Canadian NWOBHM revivalists Cauldron return with their third full length and it's a case of business of usual with the high pitched shrieks of Jason Decay over the propulsive rhythm of his bass and the drums of (the now departed) Chris Rites. The guitar of Ian Chains rips up especially on the galloping Nitebreaker which features some killer lead breaks. The band do seem to have brought a darker sound to this record with Summoned To Succumb having a very Mercyful Fate vibe to it offering an evil bass heavy sound. This is in total opposition to the following song which is the thrashy Burning Fortune which melds the new harder edged sound with classic NWOBHM sound. They also have seemed to dropped some of the more tongue in cheek elements from their last two records and they have brought the darker themes to their lyrical content as well. As with their previous efforts this album has a very retro vibe to the production with the bass low and fuzzy and the guitars very distorted and scratchy. This is another good addition to their retro revivalist catalogue and shows that if something ain't broke don't fix it. 7/10
Soulicit: Parking Lot Rockstar (Thermal)
Imagine if you will Nickelback fronted by Brent Smith from Shinedown with Mark Tremonti on guitar, playing an album full of should be classic tracks that also bring in elements of Buckcherry on the shout along Hell Yeah and Kroeger and co on the title track and with a huge dollop of Hinder on Beauty Queen. From here the album takes on more of a Creed/Alter Bridge vibe especially on super ballad Complicated. The songs slow in place after this but they are still full of muscular riffage, some great soloing from Dan Weaver and the perfect voice of Darick Parson who has a melodic southern drawl that suits this modern American rock to a tee. Despite there being possibly a few too many slower tracks all of them are well written and great example of their genre with all of them having a purpose, none outstaying their welcome and all of them having massive arena-sized hooks. This will be massive in America and should be here too with any justice, with a few more rockers on the next album Soulicit will be one of the best in their genre. I recommend that anyone that has even a passing interest in any of the bands mentioned seek out this album immediately you will not be disappointed. 8/10