Label : Epitaph & UNFD
On November 9, 2018, two years after the death of Tom Searle, the guitarist and main composer of the band, Architects released their 8th album titled Holy Hell through Epitaph and UNFD. Despite the adversity and absence of the band’s driving force, the British manage to release the most mature and balanced record of their career. The loss of Tom, along with what comes with that, is a basic lyrical theme and the band seems to be writing music now in the literal sense of passion.
LP starts with four songs (Death Is Not Defeat, Hereafter, Mortal After All, Holy Hell) that help accimilate the audience with the band’s new era. By the first note we can tell that the Architects are more direct than ever. “Architectural” riffs are there for faithful fans but more “reserved” than before. The vocals are surprisingly catchy but not corny. What impressed me the most though, is that these tracks managed to captivate me from the very first moment. For the first time ever, I actually felt how honest the feelings of the band are, while this straightness that dominated the whole disc is definitely one of its strong suits. In a nutshell, they instinctively trigger the audience’s feelings, while their new energy is indisputable. The sixth disc trak, Royal Beggars, was astounding. The voice of Sam Carter left me dumbfounded (especially in verse and the bridge), confirming that the additions to their sound were highly successful and they managed to rightly widen the band’s timbre.
The album also contains three tracks that follow the recipe of the metalcore “developers” from the era of Lost Forever // Lost Together (Damnation, Modern Misery, Dying To Heal) , which are pretty good too. What took me by surprise, was the presence of the “Seventh Circle“, which begins with machine riffs, much like the ones Robb Flynn forgot to put in Catharsis . A very strong track that helps the audience take a break from the rest of the record’s overwhelming tracks. At the end of the album we have “Doomsday” (which is the first track of the disc published in 2017) and “A Wasted Hymn” ( which is a melodic and metric “recapitulation” of the disc) with Carter guiding us to the end of the journey, (accompanied by the usual string instruments) while we listen to the eerie “now it’s time to sink or swim, I’ve got nothing except this, holy ghost, nothing lasts forever.”
In conclusion, Holy Hell is a record that is flooded with emotion. Sometimes it is pain and sorrow, while others we see raw rage, but the point is that everything was expressed in the most successful and immediate way by the band. It’s an album whose riffs and breakdowns are not mellow and, above all, will keep you listening till the very end.