Brighton metalcore band’s fourth LP in five years is packed with ambition.
Raziq Rauf 2011
With their fourth album release in less than five years, Architects fall quite firmly into the ‘prolific’ category. With live crowds growing and a wealth of experience on their side, this is the album that many have earmarked to be their breakthrough. After crafting a niche in the heavier end of the music spectrum with the stunningly brutal Ruin in 2007 and the thoroughly thrilling Hollow Crown in 2009, The Here and Now sees another slight but definite change in direction.
With the likes of Young Guns and Bring Me the Horizon receiving plenty of mainstream radio airplay of late, it’s not difficult to understand where Architects may seek to place themselves in today’s UK rock scene. But, as ever with progression and heady aspiration, such moves are often greeted with disdain by some parts of their staunch fanbase. The only way for Architects to silence such critics is for them to execute their ideas perfectly.
Day in Day Out bursts out the traps with discordant guitars and Sam Carter’s combination of fierce roars and clean, soaring vocals which provide the first anthemic sing-along moment of the album. Following on, Learn to Live is another strong track with another huge chorus setting a trend before the rushing guitars of Delete, Rewind slam into some more consistently rough vocals. The cascading, tumultuous composition of The Blues is notable as a worthy centrepiece as it builds and pulls back before exploding into a grand finale.
Metalcore really isn’t famed for ballads, yet here there are two gentler numbers: An Open Letter to Myself and Heartburn. Both struggle to convince when Carter is stretching his vocal talents – especially during the extended limp moments in the former. But the rousing, fist-pumping choruses in the latter give an indication of their growing ability with songs such as these.
While Architects haven’t made the flawless album needed to quell trepidation from existing fans about an apparent mellowing, there are enough good moments in The Here and Now to see them expand their audience regardless. The increased accessibility and diversity of this album should allow them to extend their reach, and while their attitude remains to continue to develop their talents and repertoire, nobody can begrudge them their ambition.