The rough and tough imagery of New York swimming in busy bodies and retail success, tourists and locals mingling on the sidewalks and the grime beneath the surface, all collect together to the sound of Sylar.
They're from Queens and are a five-piece who deliver a form of modern Hardcore music which lingers in "Attitude Street" where expletives and snarling are commonplace. I'll admit that it took me a few listens before our relationship clicked and I got it.
It opens with an intro showing off some studio trickery and atmosphere and then POW! 'Prescription Meditation' was a single and carries a hook which punches the guts out of any cheesy expectations. 'Mirrors' swaggers in a class of its own and was also unveiled as a single before this album came out.
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There is a beautiful balance to be found in their delivery where electronica shakes hands with their aggressive guitar-based assault. 'Two-Timer' is strong and 'Live/Breathe' maintains the ebb and flow. "What's it like to live, what's it like to breathe?"
Personally I could have done without the 'Interlude' sections which only go to show their understanding of a studio environment and aren't necessary to break up the intensity of their proper songs. If you're suitably pissed off with the world or the urban environment you struggle daily to survive, then these songs make up a seriously compelling soundtrack which you'll relate to without effort. I adore 'Never Let It Go' which finds a striking equilibrium between some rapping, soft hip-hop beats and the crunching guitar.
The unclean vocal approach of former Woe, Is Me and That's Outrageous vocalist Doriano Magliano occurs on 'Substance' which is a pleasant surprise. It's cool having some guest vocals to add another spark to a set of tracks. 'Golden Retreat' is a bitter pill to swallow as the band are vocal in their full-on aggressive mode; complete with plenty of razor sharp guitar and growls.
The future is bright for these guys I have no doubt. That may go against their outlook on the hardships of life and the irony which seems to follow us all during our day-to-day living, but where would we be without a few contradictions from time to time. Sylar have plenty going on in their mix and I can imagine a live experience being chaos and sweaty.
I'm looking forward to hearing more from this band in good time, but for now, 'To Whom It May Concern' is as busy as the streets of New York adding plenty of different shade and texture to the proceedings and should entertain and Rock those who appreciate modern Metal; whether it incorporates rap, roars or rallying cries.
To Whom It May Concern
Never Let It Go