ALBUM REVIEW: Sylar – Seasons

Release Date: October 5th 2018
Label: Hopeless Records


New York’s Sylar have found rooted themselves in open choruses and rapped vocals for their third album, ‘Seasons’. Fully aware of the balancing act are vocalists Jayden Panesso and Miguel Cardona, who ensure that the record is dynamically rich yet is filled with passion.

The aggressive approach to rapping is found from the get go in the record’s titular opener, with Panesso hurtling through the verse with a punk rock bite. With the additional punctuation found within the vocal style, the track is driven towards the chorus at breakneck speed.

Cardona uses the chorus to craft a hook that causes a dynamic shift in the proceedings. The technique is used throughout the album to great effect, ensuring that the band’s core energy stays intact.

Thankfully, the band doesn’t overuse this structure, with the likes of ‘sickminded’ blurring the lines of both vocalists. The track jumps through the two rapping, spoken word sections, and soaring chorus vocals to bring it all together.

Alongside taking vocal influence from groups such as Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Spineshank, and other nu-metal spearheading cohorts, guitarist Dustin Jennings alongside Cardona also craft many groove based riffs with irregular spacing, another notable technique of the era.

Yet again, to ensure that structurally the tracks don’t become uniform, both Jennings and Cardona take left turns throughout. Songs like the aforementioned ‘sickminded’ have guitar leads play under and over vocal codas whilst ‘Same Dance’ sparingly uses breakdowns for impact.

As the album progress, the group offers new sonic elements. ‘Winter’ sees the group build upon clean guitars drenched in delay, allowing a finger-picked melody to guide us through, and made-for-the-mosh-pit number ‘SHOOK!’ also takes diversions, with bassist Travis Hufton adding scale flourishes. The rhythm section of this track eschews expectancy, with drummer Cody Ash prolonging tense snare fills before the track bursts into its final chorus.

The albums diversity comes to a head with closer, ‘Doubt Me’, where clean guitars and synth pads swirl through the verse before distortion spikes through the chorus. The strength of the track is outlined with the vocal performances from both Panesso and Cardona, who play with their combined techniques.

‘Seasons’ itself doesn’t rely on past influences, but instead it pays homage to them. Through evolving their sound but retaining their edge, Sylar have created a considered record that will get the crowd chanting along to each and every chorus that it bears.

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