As the bounce driven ethos of nu-metal continues to bulldoze its way into contemporary metal, it seems that week after week a divisive opinion splitter rears their head to inflame social media across the board. Although the smash-and-grab of Sylar‘s vanilla metalcore won’t come as anything of a shock to devotees of modern heaviousity, their craft owing much to the neanderthal chug of Emmure et al, liberal dashes of electronic nonsense and turn of the century rap rock do little to side-step stagnation so early in their career.
Beyond some undeniably muscular grooves (‘Golden Retreat’, ‘Two Timer’), new full-length ‘To Whom It May Concern’ falls spectacularly flat, even given the distracting bells and whistles which are wheeled out in droves. Lead single, ‘Prescription Medication’, revolves around a gruff chorus which lacks any infectiousness and, indeed, a vast majority of tracks here; the spluttering ‘Live-Breathe’ and a cornball ‘Never Let It Go’ being the foremost examples, are derailed by melodic hooks which are at best ill fitting and worst simply insipid.
Hip-hop brash abounds, as do a plethora of sticky keyboardisms and swathes of digital absurdity which do little to enhance the mundane chug which sees the foundation of the bulk of proceedings here. There’s little doubt that Sylar have got the market sewn up in terms of whipper snappers dancing in the pit, but what this debut full-length ultimately boils down to is a chronic case of style over substance.
Written by Tony Bliss
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.