The Brighton based 5 piece Architects return with ‘Holy Hell’ the 8th record in their discography and one that is very much anticipated after the outstandingly beautiful bittersweet ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned us’. Architects have been through an awful lot over the past 2 years with the tragic loss of founding member and guitarist Thomas Searle. Over the last 2 years the band have toured and mourned with thousands of fans across the world, a cathartic experience for all involved. The announcement of a new record took many by surprise but made many eager to hear how their new writing format would turn out.
Straight into the record you can hear Architects are evolving and pushing forward with more electronic and string sections than before, opening with a sombre violin melody with Sam pouring his heart into the opening lines of the record. ‘Death is not defeat’ is the perfect opening song for this record and sums up what you’re going into throughout your listen. Heavy chords and a gnarly lead guitar melody are heard throughout leading into a savage chuggy breakdown.
The first single of the record is next ‘Hereafter’, the taster that surprised fans into the bands so soon comeback to music but undoubtedly showed us that they weren’t slowing down. The song was reportedly written by the newest member of the Architects clan Josh (Sylosis), and from the first 10 seconds you can see he has fully immersed himself into the sound of Architects and certainly Tom’s playing with such a powerful riff. As the song progresses we have a huge sounding chorus which deals heavily in loss and trying to move forward as Sam screams ‘Now the oceans have drained out / can I come up for air / cause I’ve been learning to live without’. A chorus fans will be screaming their lungs out too at the upcoming arena tour. A ‘Gojira harmonic sweep’ breakdown brings back the heavy and ends the song perfectly.
‘Mortal After all’ is THE track on this album, the lead guitar sliding riff that opens up the track made me pause what I was doing and make the face all of us long to do to heavy music. A full on in your face track, potentially one of the heaviest Architects have ever written. Outstanding. The title track is next ‘Holy Hell’ and ‘Damnation’ are more heavy riff driven songs with a lot of electronic throughout both tracks, pushing above and beyond the bounds of ‘metalcore’
‘Royal Beggars’ the second single to be released from the album follows. It opens with a riff which has a bend that makes you move your head with the note. My favourite vocal performance on the record as it shows how Sam carter has become the best vocalist in the genre, so savage yet melodic. The outro vocal ‘But I’m as guilty as the next man’ is gutterly growled and is just great.
‘Modern Misery’ and ‘Dying To Heal’ are more incredibly heavy songs laced with beautiful melodic chorus’s and flows effortless throughout. ‘The seventh Circle’ is the shortest song on the album and easily in their entire discography, and is a literal punch to the face. A song that should be in every set list until the end of this band, a riff driven brutal 1 and half minutes is a pleasant reminder why this band should be cherished.
I could write pages upon pages on why ‘Doomsday’ is the best song ever produced by a British band, a song focused around the moving on from tragedy. A song that was so hard physically and mentally to write for Architects, and a process that could’ve easily pushed this band over the edge. If you haven’t listened to any piece of music by Architects, this is THE song to listen too. It is quite literally outstanding, and the pure sound of perfection.
The album ends on ‘A Wasted Hymn’ with a sombre sounding Sam repeating ‘All is not lost / all is not lost’ sums up the entire record. This band has come out of the dark and can finally try and move forward into the light, forever in memory of Tom Searle.
Purchase and stream ‘Holy Hell’ and then buy tickets to their ARENA UK tour. It’ll be worth it.