Released: 2008, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
British metalcore upstarts Architects seem to be causing quite a stir, despite playing a genre that is well past its prime. Century Media Records just snatched up the rights to re-release the band’s 2007 sophomore album, RUIN, and based on the accompanying press materials, well, these guys are the greatest goddamned band to have ever picked up a guitar. In truth, RUIN is a dozen songs of noisy, progressive, technical metalcore played by five eighteen-year old blokes from Brighton, England but Archtiects manages to combine the brutal melodies of bands like August Burns Red with the fancy-pants atmospherics of Misery Signals. Throw in a smattering of Unearth-ish guitar runs and RUIN has all the makings for a pretty killer album with a fresh twist on some familiar sounds.
Vocalist Sam Carter makes his recording debut with the band on RUIN and his range immediately brings to mind that of Misery Signals’ Karl Schubach. Most of the time, Carter’s harsh bellow fits the material well. He uses his clean vocals minimally but effectively (“North Lane,” “You’ll Find Safety”) and they never list into that whiny emo territory that sinks many bands, so he is a good all-around vocalist. Tom Searle and Tim Hillier-Brook do a splendid job of driving home punchy riffs and slipping in a few well-crafted solos that fit but never overtake the songs. “Buried At Sea” boasts some serious flash and “Low” soars on one of the most melodic and gorgeous riffs of the year. Taking some influence from bands like Burst and Cult of Luna, plenty of atmospherics work their way into the songs, adding serious depth to “Always,” “Low” and “Sail This Ship Alone.” Whether the band digs into a pit-ready groove (“Heartless,” “I Can’t See The Light”), goes all out with screechy, lurching mathcore (“You’ll Find Safety”) or reels things in for some complex experimentation (“Save Me”), Architects make it appear effortless.
There aren’t many bands that are able to breathe some life into the collapsed lungs of metalcore but Architects have done so on RUIN. They aren’t reinventing the wheel or doing anything groundbreaking but they do manage to pull in different influences to create an enjoyable and memorable record, which is even more remarkable given their young age. If Architects is able to progress and grow accordingly, their next album (due for release in spring 2009 on Century Media) could be the one that breaks them.
KILLER KUTS: “Buried At Sea,” “You’ll Find Safety,” “Always,” “Heartless,” “North Lane,” “Low”