British metallers Sylosis are among the more uncompromising home-grown acts to tear up the nation’s rock clubs, and their new album, Monolith, showcases bassist Carl Parnell’s winning way with a headbanging bass-line. Here he reveals five albums featuring bass playing mastery that influenced him, which he admires or which simply sound good as a soundtrack for jumping off the sofa in the ‘swan dive’ position.
Tool - Lateralus
I’m sure this isn’t the first time this album has appeared in these pages, but this came out the same year we started out and I spent many an hour trying to figure out parts here and there. Such iconic riffs litter this album, but one of my go-to soundcheck riffs is always the start of ‘Schism’. That whole song has always been one of my all- time favourites. Justin Chancellor was the first guy to introduce me to the midrange punchy tone that I still try to add into my overall live sound today.
Sikth – Death Of A Dead Day
I grew up playing shows in the same ‘scene’ as Sikth in the early years, and we got to share the stage a number of times. Getting to see James Leach play live was such an honour. I’ve always revered his bass work across all their catalogue, but this album was an amalgamation of everything he worked towards. My standout track has to be ‘As The Earth Spins Round’: his solo run at the back end of the track is amazing. His clean and precise tapping inspires me still.
Mastodon - Blood Mountain
I wasn’t sure whether to pick Crack The Skye or this album, but it took ‘Sleeping Giants’ on this record to clinch it. Troy Sanders is such a chilled-out player on this track, and the warm and fuzzy tone he adopted is another layer that I try to add to my live sound. His backing to ‘Hand Of Stone’ is another highlight. He is another player that makes me feel guilty to not be using my fingers live. Watching him sing and play is such a joy, and live his tone has such a 70s prog fuzz to it.
Cannibal Corpse - Kill
Not far into my teens I discovered metal, and not long after that I discovered the delights of Cannibal Corpse. Only after seeing the first video footage of Alex Webster did I realise what an absolute monster he is. I couldn’t fathom his finger work and still can’t to this day. Bass has never been given enough prominence in the production in my ears, but Kill contains some truly tasty runs from Alex. I started a fingerwork regime to be able to play a song like Alex – and gave up. Hail to the king.
Gojira - The Way Of All Flesh
Jean-Michel Labadie is an incredibly influential player for me. His live presence is a joy to watch, and his playing on this album is amazing. The whole vibe of the album relies on the running low end of the bass and Jean-Michel kicks out such good lines throughout. His tone on this album was my direct inspiration for the tone on Edge Of The Earth and then onto Monolith, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. His parts at the end of ‘Vacuity’ and ‘Toxic Garbage Island’ are my standout tracks.