Architects long awaited 7th Studio album is here. Now I’m not going to lie, Architects are a band I have dipped in and out of. Hollow Crown was my favourite album and I found it hard to find anything I liked as much, until they released the single ‘A Match Made In Heaven’ earlier this year. I knew this album would be different.
In the style of the Architects I remember, this album’s start is hard and heavy, it doesn’t give you a few seconds to prepare it throws you in at the deep end. ‘Nihilist’ is the intro I hoped for! Halfway through we have that beautiful Sam Carter voice followed by a slow and dirty beat down, which leads you to some haunting strings seeing you through to the end.
There are plenty of beat downs, sub drops and plenty of ‘blah’ – the staple to every hardcore album; and I’m only a few tracks down. I know a few people feel Architects can be a little bit of the same, and I understand that. I think having not really thrown myself into following this band in a few years has really helped me see the differences though.
I can feel the change in tone, I can feel the change in structure, there are more Djent sections and more development in the songs. Right now I’m thankful I gave them another chance. The writing has matured, the music is more together, it feels more progressive than previous albums, and it’s definitely more political.
‘Downfall’ is a great example of this; the song is groovy but heavy, Sam’s voice never failing. Everything is perfectly timed and the juxtaposition between the music and the clarity in the clean vocals is so powerful. There is plenty to keep your mind going without overdoing it.
This continues through the album into the next track ‘Gone With The Wind’, the second released single off the album. The track has more synth elements and really plays into the math-core thing with the guitars. Again the clean vocals are just so prominent and put your hair on end.
The next song I really feel deeply for on this album is ‘A Match Made In Heaven’. As I said earlier, if not for this song I probably would have remained in the dark about Architects new album. This song is just mind blowing. The guitars in the beginning, vocal layering on top, the drop into the main verse; all in a few seconds I’m totally mesmerised.
This song has groove, it has power, and it has an amazing message lyrically. “A match made in heaven paved the road to hell./We’ve been down this path before,cold-blooded retribution./So, fuck your revolution”, are some of the most poignant lyrics I’ve heard this year, followed by “If you’re looking for tyrants take a look in the mirror”. A scathing look at the world we live in, in a stunningly beautifully heavy and amazingly articulate song.
After ‘A Match Made In Heaven’, the album starts to take a slightly softer feeling; with ‘All Love Is Lost” and the beginning of ‘From The Wilderness’ this doesn’t last long as we’re thrown back into Djent-esq guitars with hardcore beats. From what I remember from the good old days, Architects were masters of a skin tingling, ear ringing, hair lifting final tracks, at least in the case of ‘Hollow Crown’ anyway.
‘Memento Mori’ starts with a quick synth buzzing, clean guitar and clean vocal. More synthesisers, loads of reverb and a steady slow beat in the background. When the track drops in properly it doesn’t have as much force behind it as I was expecting; however, I don’t think this song is supposed to be as abrasive, I think it’s to make your mind tick over. It’s not supposed to be another song to bang you head to, it’s supposed to make you think. The song feels like it reaches its conclusion about 5 minutes in, but that’s not the end. Ticking away in the background, literally, until it drops harder and faster than any of the other tracks on the album. While this song isn’t quite the tempestuous ending I was hoping for it certainly is impressive, as is the entire album. Need I say more?