Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Metalcore Review: Architects - For Those Who Wish to Exist

Score: 82/100 
Release Date: August 26, 2022
Genre: metalcore, progcore, ambient postmetal
Similar Artists: While She Sleeps, Killswitch Engage

British metalcore phenoms, Architects are back with their ninth full-length release.  It is their second since Tom Searle's (lead guitarist, synth programmer, songwriter, and lyricist) passing after a three-year-long battle with skin cancer at the age of 28. At the time, his brother, drummer Dan Searle, refused to mince words or offer any false reassurances "I don't know what will become of Architects." The good news is that they became something better, something more evolved.

On For Those Who Wish to Exist, Architects progressive sound is less metalcore and more progmetal. The sonic texture is more Porcupine Tree than As I Lay Dying. For someone who prefers not to be screamed at, it's a welcome shift. The arrangements are diverse and skillfully blended. Metal riffs, singalong melodies, and slow jams ride an undercurrent of palpable punk angst. 

The production is flawless as it emphasizes these shifts quite dramatically. That said, the band does go back to the well on "Goliath," where lead singer Simon Neil's vocal onslaught shot from a cannon of earth-shaking bass and machine gun guitar riff is enough to have you running to your mommy.  

Let's face it.  It is difficult to sound original in a genre so homogenized. I get it; you want a sound all your own but need to be true to your fanbase, so you rest on your laurels a bit and branch out as tactfully as possible. Architects do this well.  They are a band that prevails and stands out in a crowd of followers. 

Lyrically, the band doesn't stray from the theme of surviving on a warming planet rife with political divide. An inescapable horror and sense of impending doom pervade, which, depending on where your head is, can come across as either scary or cathartic.

All elements considered, the Architects manage to pull off a difficult feat, blending finely written compositions with an undercurrent of palpable angst.  For Those Who Wish to Exist is a gripping experience from start to finish, and Architects remain comfortable and confident within their newly created surroundings.

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen

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