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Architects - The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit (Album Review)

Thursday, 27 October 2022 Written by Will Marshall

It’s barely been a year since Architects topped the UK charts with their ninth album ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’, but the Brighton metalcore troupe haven’t rested on their laurels. The ideas that became ‘The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit’ arrived as the band were completing a victory lap of UK arenas celebrating its predecessor.

Described by the group as wanting to lean in more industrial and electronic directions, the opening duo of Deep Fake and Tear Gas certainly bear that out as the opener’s pulsing noise gives way to a churning groove. The latter takes their knack for a skyscraper chorus and ratchets it up again with a stomping beat. 

Unfortunately, despite a strong start, it doesn’t go well from there. Spit The Bone features one of the first  “bleghs” from vocalist Sam Carter—a trademark spit/scream that has become something of a millstone—in some years but it doesn’t salvage the song.

It’s modern Architects by numbers and it’s lyrically questionable. “We had it all / now we’re all cannibals,” Carter sings, so vague as to be meaningless.

That industrial groove they aimed for is certainly there; unfortunately for them, its prevalence leads to overuse and songs start to bleed into one another both in tempo and structure. 

Thankfully Living Is Killing Us offers the first respite sonically but promptly falls into the same structural trap, as does When We Were Young—they’re deliberately anthemic, arena-ready anthems, but they aren’t all that memorable.

‘The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit’ smacks of a band that’s coasting on their last album. While none of it is particularly heinous, it’s simply unremarkable for a group of Architects' stature, and plays it far too safe. 


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