In the studio: Sylosis

Reading's finest prepare heavy-as-hell album four

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvqM69fsuEA

In these times of dwindling record sales and watered-down melodic metallers filling arenas, you can perhaps forgive hard-working Brit bands for trying to make their sound more accessible as the years roll by.

Reading's Sylosis have had no such thoughts, though; in fact their new album, Dormant Heart, is even heavier than its predecessor, and that's some going.

"We've always been a melodic band, but we haven't tried to write singles - this album is a darker and heavier vibe"

Frontman/guitarist Josh Middleton explains: "We get lumped in with bands that we don't feel much of a kinship with. We're getting a bit older and more jaded. We all gravitate to darker music.

"I remember the best thing in the world being when a new Pantera album came out, because they kept getting heavier. A lot of bands go the other way and go more melodic. We've always been a melodic band, but we haven't tried to write singles - this album is a darker and heavier vibe."

Dormant Heart may be a heavier-than-ever prospect from the band, but that doesn't mean Josh and rhythm player Alex Bailey have ventured out of standard tuning.

"The whole album is in standard E. We put a clip online a week ago and someone commented saying we'd tuned down to B. Nah, we just use a lot of inverted powerchords! It's knowing how to hit them the right way so that you get that fat downtuned sound.

"Anyone can write riffs on a seven string and turn up the gain and chug away, and it will sound heavy, but try playing the same riff on a guitar in E; it might sound naff by comparison. Playing in standard pushes you to think of different ways of how to be heavy."

One way in which Sylosis have made their sound even heavier is through slowing things down when required. Josh is trudging out some sludgy doom riffs from his modded JCM800.

"We've done a lot of songs over the 200bpm mark, so it is refreshing to write slower riffs. We try to keep a good balance of groove and fast, we can't just do everything at 200bpm and over. I get called a shredder, but I've never been into those solo shred guys. I don't write to play widdly stuff, but it does sometimes happen to come out!"

It's one of these slower moments that anchors a monstrous track on the record, and it's a personal favourite of Josh's.

He says: "One of my favourites is the very first proper riff on the album, Where The Wolves Come To Die. When that kicks in, it's this slow Crowbar-sounding riff. I'm looking forward to opening shows with that."

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