Josh Middleton from Architects lets us in on some must-knows for his latest metal exploration; the first Sylosis album in five years, ‘Cycle of Suffering’.
1) The album was mostly written in 2016. What most people don't know is that the band went on a hiatus pretty much straight after the last tour we did. I was unhappy at the time and felt like I'd boxed myself in with the sound of Sylosis. After a few months of reassessing what I wanted to do musically, I slowly came back around to the idea of doing a new Sylosis record but with a fresh and more focused perspective. There are numerous reasons why the album took so long for it to be completed and released, but in terms of the writing, it wasn't written that long after Dormant Heart.
2) For 'Devil's In Their Eyes' I actually really wanted to ask Chris Hannah to guest appear on the track but I was too scared to ask him. I love all kinds of music but especially fast stuff, be it thrash, death metal, punk or hardcore - I just love D-beats. So I'm a big Propagandhi fan, and I really like the way Chris writes lyrics, so I actually had him in mind to sing that chorus, but I was worried he would say no, so I didn't get round to asking him to do a guest spot.
3) The album was pretty much tracked backwards over a few years. All of the guitars were recorded first and then the vocals, and we didn't actually record drums the end of 2018, and then the mixing process dragged on and on because I mixed it myself and kept going round in circles. It's really hard when you're so attached to a project musically and trying to mix it as well. It's really beneficial to have someone with a fresh pair of ears mix it. I drove myself crazy and had to give myself a deadline; otherwise, I would just keep tweaking it. I owe a lot to Ermin who mastered the album for steering me in the right direction.
4) 'Abandon', or at least the first half was originally a song that I had written years ago that was more like an ambient electronic thing. I intended to do a solo record of really dark, ambient electronica and not tell anyone it was me. I think I was concerned our metal fans would think it was lame or 'selling out'. I ended up just re-working it and turning it into more of a prog-rock thing. I'm really proud of the last part of that song in particular though which was written separately. I just remember feeling emotional as that piece of music came together. For me personally, it's one of the most emotionally powerful pieces of music Sylosis has done.
5) The title-track contains riffs that have been around since before 'Edge of the Earth'. It's not uncommon to have riffs floating around for years before you can fit them into a song or certain songs just taking a long time to finish. The approach to writing is just working on loads of songs at once. I've always described it as like spinning plates. You might have a few riffs for one song, then move on to something else you've been working on to see if you have any new ideas for that and then move onto the next one etc. I'm really excited to play this one live! Definitely one of my favourites.
6) I had a bad flying experience on an internal flight in the US in early 2018. There was basically some gnarly turbulence the whole flight but a particularly nasty bang happened as we were taking off. So since then, I've not been too great with flying even though I do it all the time. I learned that drawing really takes my mind off the discomfort of flying. So the album cover was actually drawn over numerous flights in 2019. I'm not sure I can honestly give a deep meaning behind what the painting represents but it was pretty much mostly created in a state of anxiety, so I think that in itself ties it in with the album title.
Taken from the February issue of Upset. Sylosis' album 'Cycle Of Suffering' is out 7th February.
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