On May 24th, SYLAR rocked Slim’s in San Francisco while on their first American headlining tour promoting their third full length album, Season’s. The Queens, NY natives were supported by Cane Hill, Varials, and Bloodline, a stacked bill in my opinion. Each band brings something different to the table, but are all tied together by heavy riffs that can get the crowd moving. SYLAR, Cane Hill, and Bloodline take on a heavy post-hardcore and rap influence in their songwriting whereas Varials brings the metalcore to the table and gets the crowd moshing, however, out of all the times I’ve seen Varials, I don’t think the crowd was as receptive to them at this show as opposed to others. Aside from a few Varials fans in the crowd, the other fans seemed to be less responsive to frontman Travis Tabron’s requests for more movement and moshing, which is to be expected when most of the audience consists of rap metal fans who were itching to see SYLAR later on in the night.
SYLAR’s music is unlike any rap metal I’ve heard. When I think of rap metal I think of Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Run DMC, and maybe a little bit of Hollywood Undead from my middle school days, but in my opinion, I think those are more rap rock than rap metal (even though, Google told me otherwise); although you hear a bit of a metal influence in each of those bands, I feel that metal has changed so much since those days and a lot of the bands that were considered “rap metal” back in the day, sound more like they have a hard rock influence than metalcore influence. I definitely hear those older influences in SYLAR, but after seeing them live, I could hear where their metalcore influence lies. Their breakdowns feel like metalcore but mixed with an east coast rap breakdown. In other words, SYLAR is redefining rap metal in the 21st century. Their live performance is full of energy and emotion as I would expect from any headlining artist. Although I feel there were some technical details that could have been improved, I felt that the members themselves put on a really great show. You can catch SYLAR opening for Attila’s Villains EU/UK tour this Winter.