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Architects - For Those That Wish To Exist (Album Review)

Friday, 26 February 2021 Written by Sam Sleight

Photo: Ed Mason

“I wanna sing you a different song, one that’s easier to swallow,” Sam Carter opines during the chorus of Little Wonder, summing up the MO of Architects’ new record ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’.

Where the fuel behind the metalcore giants’ 2016 LP ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ was nihilistic rage at the fragility of life, and 2018’s ‘Holy Hell’ processed the tragic loss of guitarist Tom Searle through the medium of brutal heaviness and funereal strings, this is a radio-friendly, bombastic examination of impermanence amid the climate crisis.

The fury has largely been replaced by a sense of resignation and earworm melodies, while the group’s taste for orchestral accoutrements has been retrofitted to include a host of synthesisers—see An Ordinary Extinction or Dead Butterflies. 

The reception to the LP’s singles has been mixed—ranging from derisive comparisons with latter day Bring Me The Horizon to others praising them as a revelation—while suggesting that many minds had been made up without hearing the overly long, but enjoyably ambitious, record in full. 

Somewhat predictably, the truth of the matter is found somewhere in the middle of these extremes. ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ is far from the dud some predicted, but further away from the masterpiece it is being hailed as elsewhere.

There is some debt owed to post-‘Sempiternal’ Bring Me The Horizon, especially on the stomping single Animals and the outrageously poppy cuts Flight Without Feathers and Meteor. But when Architects put their foot down the heaviness far outweighs Bring Me’s recent output, particularly on the album highlight Goliath,  which features a turn from Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro.

Lyrically, the album indulges in clichés ranging from neatly selected (on Black Lungs and Goliath) to the outright confusing on Impermanence, which co-stars Winston McCall of Parkway Drive, and Demi God. The best that can be said of the latter’s mixed metaphors is that at least they’re delivered with a sharp sense of melody throughout.

Architects’ ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’, ‘All Our Gods…’ and ‘Holy Hell’ represent perhaps the greatest three album run in contemporary metalcore. The records garnered near-universal acclaim and saw the band catapulted from Brixton to Wembley. It seems they are ready to stay there. 

They have traded in their firebrand emotional intensity and concise riffage for a more brooding and accessible approach and at times it’s wonderful that they are flexing their creative muscles in a different way. But ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ will prove a contentious talking point for a generation of fans. 

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