Podcast: The Return of Architects with Drew Beringer

A new album from Architects has arrived and it is very, very good. For Those That Wish to Exist serves as the beginning of a new chapter for the band and a wake up call for those that wish to deny the effects of climate change. All told, there’s a lot to unpack, so we reached out to Drew Beringer to join the podcast and break down his thoughts on the new album, the legacy of Architects, and their impact on the heavy music scene.

Drew shares a bit of his background in joining the AbsolutePunk.net staff and Chorus.fm community before diving into his track-by-track breakdown of For Those That Wish to Exist, including his interview with Architects drummer Dan Searle. Drew also gives his ranking of Architects’ Epitaph Records albums and shares his favorite songs from the new album. Take a listen!

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Posted by Kiel Hauck

Review: Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

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Where do you go once you’ve reached the top? In 2014, Architects released what appeared to be their masterpiece with Lost Forever // Lost Together, a triumph of modern metalcore that firmly planted the band atop the genre. After a decade of scratching and clawing, it appeared that the bone-crushing Brighton act had reached their zenith.

With that in mind, what do we do with All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, an album that for all intents and purposes is every bit the masterpiece of their prior release?

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

You can buy All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us on iTunes.

For their seventh full-length album, Architects once again hit the studio with Henrik Udd and Fredrik Nordström, a purposeful decision by a band that felt as though they unearthed the treasure within on their last record. The resulting collection of songs won’t change the narrative of the band, but it will certainly rattle your soul once more, cementing Architects as the finest metalcore band on the planet

Because of the production similarities and the band’s decision to follow the thread they pulled on their last outing, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us won’t catch the casual listener by surprise. But for those who were transfixed with Architects’ rapid evolution, there’s even more to enjoy this time around.

The band wastes no time getting down to business, ripping out of the gate with opener “Nihilist”, an absolutely brutal track that sets the tone for the record. Lost Forever // Lost Together touched on a variety of themes related to the depraved condition of humanity, but All Our Gods points its focus primarily on corrupt Western politics and our self-elevated “gods” that bring nothing but ruin and decay. While the instrumentals of “Nihilist” grow more expansive and complex as the song progresses, vocalist Sam Carter’s lyrics become razor sharp: “All hail the corporatocracy / The word of God written in binary / All hail our apostasy / The dying notes in an unholy symphony”.

“Nihilist” doesn’t just set the tone for the album; it discloses the premise of the discussion surrounding this record. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us forgoes the calm-before-the-storm moments of terrifying stillness that are littered throughout Lost Forever in favor of consistently tightened metalcore power that barrels through the speakers from start to finish.

That’s not to say that there’s no variety in sound – “All is Lost” features surprisingly grungy guitar tones that slightly slow the pace while “Deathwish” adds gorgeously haunting programming to its pummeling breakdowns, surgically filling out the already established Architects sound. The most noticeable improvement on All Our Gods belongs to Carter, whose vocals are now a perfect instrument alongside the guitars and drums. There is no more room for debate: Sam Carter is the finest vocalist in the metalcore scene.

His fierce screams are now complimented by melodic cries that are filled to the brim with conviction. On “Downfall”, his voice is full of desperation as the track hits the chorus: “We are paralyzed / But there are none so blind as those who will not see”. When “A Match Made in Heaven” reaches its sonic summit, he bellows to the depths in light of political corruption, screaming, “We found your fingerprints all over the trigger / If you’re looking for tyrants, take a look in the mirror”.

The rest of the band doesn’t sound too shabby, either. Guitarist Tom Searle is now officially accompanied by new sidekick Adam Christianson, and the duo sound stellar. “Downfall” is highlighted by complex breakdowns, rich with dueling guitars, right from the onset. “A Match Made in Heaven” houses some of the best riffs on the record, backed by tense, disturbing programming elements that fill out the mix. Not to be outdone, drummer Dan Searle struts his stuff behind the kit throughout the record. “Gravity” opens with a punishing wall of sound, driven by Searle’s powerful, ripping drums that break only for fleeting moments during a few small, spacey interludes that wouldn’t sound of place on an Underoath track.

If you were to find a blemish in All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, it would only be in some of the songs’ similarities to the band’s last outing. For example, “The Empty Hourglass” sounds strangely similar to the tone of Lost Forever // Lost Together, providing an unneeded whiff of familiarity. Yet for every moment you think the band sounds the same, there’s tracks like the fearful “From the Wilderness” that add fresh, audible tonal changes while calling out our indifference to the physical peril of our planet.

For all of the ways in which Architects have mastered their craft, the most vital element of their music is their steadfast conviction. If Lost Forever was a despairing cry from the void, All Our Gods is an enraged call for action. Carter has become a fire-breathing voice for change in the metal scene, but for all of the fury he projects, he still saves plenty of venom for himself. “I’d take a leap of faith, but I’d lose my nerve / In the end, I’ll get the hell that I deserve”, he laments on “Gone with the Wind”. Even when he takes aim at political leaders and oppressive regimes, you still get the feeling that he’s indicting himself alongside.

It’s this unwavering allegiance to principle, when coupled with the band’s masterful execution, which makes Architects one of the most important and dynamic bands in heavy music today. We could spend weeks arguing between the merits of their last two outings, but that would be a terrible slight to the band’s overarching message and abilities. To put it simply, the reign of Architects continues. Enjoy.

4.5/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Review: Architects (UK) – Lost Forever // Lost Together

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In recent years, metalcore has become the butt of more than a few jokes from onlookers outside the scene. Once a truly underground and formidable genre, the music has now become more of a formulaic brand.

Slap together a deep growler with a high-pitched vocalist to man the chorus, add one pseudo-heavy breakdown per song, and throw in some video game programming for good measure to ensure a T-shirt slot on Hot Topic’s wall and a spot on the Monster Energy stage at Warped Tour.

Every so often though, something new and fresh comes along, serving as a gasp of air above the surface. The Devil Wears Prada’s 2011 album Dead Throne and last year’s Sempiternal from Bring Me the Horizon serve as recent examples, providing a dash of optimism amidst a tired landscape of lookalikes.

This year, hope comes in the form of Architects’ Lost Forever // Lost Together.

Hailing from England, Architects are not new to the scene. They made a mark with 2009’s ferocious Hollow Crown, but until this point, had failed to capitalize on their strengths. Lost Forever // Lost Together is a no holds barred crushing display of a band with something to prove, and even more importantly, something to say.

You may want to sit down for this one. Lost Forever // Lost Together will certainly make you want to move, but the weight of its content and its swirling artistic display forces you to pay close attention and catch every detail. At its core, the album is a furious battle against the gravity of existence – a desperate search for something, anything, to hold onto.

This desperation reigns on opener “Gravedigger”, a track that unleashes the full force of what Architects are capable of in a matter of minutes. Sam Carter’s vocals are simply awesome, transitioning between a guttural roar and a pleading delivery akin to letlive.’s Jason Aalon Butler as he sings, “They sing of saviours, we sing of sorrow / But we’re still holding on for dear life”.

The album’s lead single, “Naysayer”, is a perfect presentation of what metalcore could be. The track is heavy in all of the right ways and utilizes guitarist Tom Searle’s talent during its monstrous technical breakdowns. The song in and of itself is a fight against personal complacency, but can also serve as a battle cry for the genre. Carter will strike a chord with many an estranged fan as he cries “So sick of the sound of people giving up / You can’t stop me giving a fuck / Fuck it, I’m a dreamer and I’m dreaming on”.

The album winds down a distressing road, flirting with despair but finding hope in the most unexpected places. “Broken Cross” laments the pain wrought by fundamentalist religious mindsets, while on “C.A.N.C.E.R.”, Carter fights to push forward, screaming “Find a little light and hold it close / Don’t lose sight of what matters most”.

The weightiness of Carter’s lyrics align effortlessly with the overall sound and feel of the record. Lost Forever // Lost Together is as heavy of a record as you’ll hear this year, but it’s far from a one trick pony. “The Devil is Near” uses gang vocals over the top of a punk riff while “Colony Collapse” opens with a gentle string intro that serves as the calm before the storm. The track’s atmospheric synthesizers push the song to an epic level, accompanied by a haunting refrain from Carter.

“Red Hypergiant” is a dark, spacey interlude with scattered spoken word vocals, sounding like one of the best songs that Underoath never wrote. “The Distant Blue” tragically closes the story with a feeling of drifting out to sea. The opening melodic vocals are incredible as Carter comes to terms with his uncertainty and pain. Transitioning wildly between gentle and heavy, the track exits like a whispy final breath on top of a fading heartbeat-like pulse. As the music fades, it’s hard to know whether to cheer in triumph or collapse in tears.

Lost Forever // Lost Together excels on every level not only because it sets a new musical standard for the metalcore genre, but because it digs deep at all of the right nerves. The album is angry for the right reasons and is asking the right questions. In a scene that has embraced the most banal of subject matter, Architects have blown down the door with substantial material and a call to desire something more.

Perhaps this is all summed up best in “Castles in the Air”, a crushing defeat of a song with the most powerful breakdown on the album. Atop the music, Carter rails against the poisonous grip of addiction and hollow fulfillment with everything he has before painfully releasing the song’s final lines in the form of a quiet mumble. “I wasted time building castles in the air / If there’s peace to be found, I won’t find it there”.

This line sums up the album – a continual search for peace and meaning and a refusal to settle for less. With Lost Forever // Lost Together, Architects have built the new high water mark for the metalcore genre while reminding us all of the pitfalls of complacency and the importance of searching for something more. With any luck, this display will incite just enough fight in others to reclaim the heart and motive behind this music and move it forward once more.

5/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.