A versatile metalcore group based out of Brighton, England, Architects employ a lethal amalgam of breakdown-heavy hardcore, symphonic screamo, death metal, and ambient post-metal. That sonic malevolence is conducted from a platform built on veganism and environmental activism, with influences ranging from Hatebreed and Shadows Fall to Bring Me the Horizon. Emerging in 2006 as a punishing, no-frills metalcore act, the band expanded their sound on 2011's The Here and Now, adopting a more melodic -- though still punishing -- and less predictably structured approach to the genre, which they perfected on 2016's critically lauded All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, and refined further on 2021's For Those That Wish to Exist. Architects recorded their debut album, Nightmares, in 2006 with a lineup consisting of twin brothers Tom (guitar) and Dan Searle (drums), Tim Hillier-Brook (guitar), Tim Lucas (bass), and Matt Johnson (vocals), but the latter was replaced on-stage by new frontman Sam Carter in January of 2007 during the last show of the band's subsequent tour. Later that year, they recorded their sophomore effort, Ruin (introducing new bass player Ali Dean), and signed a worldwide deal with Century Media for its re-release in 2008. Their first American tour was next on the agenda, and saw the group joining Suicide Silence, Beneath the Massacre, and the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, among other bands. Upon their return to England, Architects recorded their third album, Hollow Crown, which arrived in 2009. They took their sound in a relatively subdued, post-hardcore direction on their fourth album, 2011's Here and Now, but transitioned back to a heavier sound the following year on Daybreaker. The band continued to expand their limits, pushing things in both extreme and ambient directions on their sixth album, Lost Forever // Lost Together, which appeared in 2014. Two years later, they issued the critically acclaimed and uncompromising All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, which they described as their "heaviest and darkest work" to date. It would be the final recording for founding guitarist and primary songwriter Tom Searle, who passed away in August of that year after a battle with cancer. September 2017 saw the band issue the single "Doomsday," which evolved from a song that was partially written by Searle before his passing. It appeared on the group's eighth studio long-player, Holy Hell, which was released the following year. That album was the first to feature new guitarist Josh Middleton (Sylosis), who had filled in on tour. He co-produced and contributed to the writing on Architects' ninth album, For Those That Wish to Exist, released in February 2021. The album deals with climate change and features guest vocals from members of Parkway Drive, Royal Blood, and Biffy Clyro.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Metal - Released February 26, 2021 | Epitaph
This English group has an intriguing trajectory, marked by certain stylistic choices that almost sank their career before paying off once they’d sorted out the genres. While still the standard-bearers of an aggressive metalcore with songs boasting a more melodic post-hardcore soul, Architects have long since evolved beyond their more technical and convoluted early compositions to allow the more accessible choruses to breathe. The tragic loss of guitarist Tom Searle in 2016 after a fierce three-year battle with cancer did not spell the end of the British band led by drummer Dan Searle, his twin brother. Architects turned the grief into a source of inspiration and relaunched themselves better than ever with their eighth album, Holy Hell in 2018. For Those That Wish To Exist is the second album recorded by the band since the death of Searle (with Dan the sole remaining original member). The pain and rage that roared through Holy Hell and helped them mourn have mutated into a kind of despair fuelled by a very gloomy observation about the inability of human beings to save the planet and take up their responsibilities. Committed to various environmental defense movements (Architects are closely linked to the Sea Shepherd organisation), the Brighton combo delivers an album that does not directly attack the institutions in place, but is more like sincere self-criticism, taking into account what each of us should have done before blaming others. The message is delivered with a massive guitar sound fused with electronic ingredients, making Architects’ sound more accessible, grandiose (and even cinematic) than ever. While still rocking the beefy riffs (Animals), the group fully embraces its melodic side in Black Lungs and Giving Blood with choruses braced by synthetic layers that wouldn’t be out of place in Linkin Park. Without sounding industrial, those omnipresent keyboards (Dead Butterflies, An Ordinary Extinction) occasionally evoke the work of countrymen like Enter Shikari, proof that the group is utterly of its era. So it’s no coincidence that Winston McCall, singer of Parkway Drive (the two bands share a label) drops by for a vocal in Impermanence. More surprisingly, Mike Kerr’s (Royal Blood) excellent vocal in Little Wonder shows how much more porous the boundaries between the genres are than might be believed (Simon Neil, singer of Biffy Clyro also show up for a howl later on the album). The old, more radical group is long in the rearview. Whoever decided to flirt with post-hardcore and catchy choruses made the right call. Far more accessible than in the past, Architect’s music will reach an increasingly large audience rather than bringing back older fans lost several albums ago. That’s a winning bet given the catchy aspect of the new songs. Architects were already a staple of melodic metalcore. They’re well on their way to becoming one of the genre’s undisputed leaders. © Chief Brody/Qobuz