Every Sylosis album ranked from worst to best

Sylosis in 2023
(Image credit: Press)

Name a more underrated force in UK metal than Sylosis and we’ll give you a biscuit. When the Reading four-piece emerged in 2008, they were at the forefront of the British thrash revolution, joining the likes of Evile and Savage Messiah in reinvigorating the genre. Then, for years, increasingly technical but still-anthemic songs kept the aggressors relevant, every album up to their 2016 disbanding courting critical and fan acclaim.

Sylosis returned from the abyss in 2020 and are now something of a retroactive supergroup, mastermind Josh Middleton having served in Architects while Conjurer’s Conor Marshall and Bleed From Within’s Ali Richardson man the bass and drums respectively. Six LPs have come from the mavens’ unlikely journey, and here they are ranked from worst to best:

Metal Hammer graphic line break

6. Cycle Of Suffering (2020)

Sylosis’ comeback was a halfway house between the intricate craft of their original run and the more song-orientated approach on successor A Sign Of Things To Come. The album flaunted some powerhouse tracks, especially Calcified and I Sever, both of which balanced iron-clad hooks with mosh-ready riffing. However, between those highlights, Cycle Of Suffering was a guitar record above all else, maintaining the six-string excellence of the band’s prior work but not the interesting drum patterns or abrasive melody.

5. Dormant Heart (2015)

When Josh put Sylosis on the shelf, he was struggling to pull new ideas from their longtime rulebook of E-standard guitars and zero breakdowns. Dormant Heart was the sound of the band straining against those confines, desperate to say something new but afraid to do so. Many of the tracks felt fun but familiar, the biggest changes being the increased melodic singing on Mercy and the ridiculously long Quiescent. It wasn’t bad whatsoever – just clearly in need of extra ambition.

4. Monolith (2012)

18 months after Edge Of The Earth cemented Sylosis as one of the young UK metal bands, its follow-up was already out. Monolith was no rushed job to capitalise on the hype, however, its 11 songs instead reiterating why this lot were so damn special. Openers Out From Below and Fear The World were tech-thrash bangers, the latter imbued with an addictively shoutable chorus, while All Is Not Well was a stampede of …And Justice For All-ish groove.

3. A Sign Of Things To Come (2023)

After Cycle… began to tighten Sylosis’ songwriting, A Sign Of Things To Come ratcheted even harder. Album number six was a purebred metal record, emphasising the art of the anthem. Deadwood, the title track, Descent and more all became top-notch standouts as a result, before finale A Godless Throne cast its eye back to the fearless flurries of the early days. The band’s momentum was truly rebuilt here, shows with Malevolence and Lamb Of God following in its wake.

2. Conclusion Of An Age (2008)

Conclusion Of An Age was a breath of fresh air. As the thrash renaissance took off, many of its bands were looking backwards, hoping to emulate Metallica and Sepultura. Not Sylosis. These up-and-comers channelled the familiar speed metal tropes into something new, mixing them with modern snarls, rampant melodeath leads and an overarching prog metal concept. Promoted by tours with The Black Dahlia Murder and sets at Download and Sonisphere, this debut gave British metal its next standard-bearers.

1. Edge Of The Earth (2011)

Edge Of The Earth wasn’t just the best Sylosis album – it remains the most consummate British thrash record released this side of the millennium. From mind-boggling chops to memorable hooks and an expansive vision, it had everything needed to be a generational release.

Procession introduced the 70-minute epic with a dynamic opening and shockling catchy conclusion, and the album proceeded to weave through the sweep arpeggios of Empyreal, the evocative tones of Where The Sky Ends and the gallop of Altered States Of Consciousness. By the time From The Edge Of The Earth ended things in a stampede of NWOBHM-like chords, this was already a masterpiece. And now, more than a decade on, Edge Of The Earth is still an untouched effort in technicality, accessibility and prowess.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.