Review Summary: Suck it Corporate America!
Metalblade Records has without a doubt introduced the underground metal scene of today with both cliche, excellent, and downright lame sounds of genres ranging from all types of metal. But usually, as most of us can relate, there have been shining stars in large indie labels that have stood out from all the rest. I can honestly say that Architect is one of them. Perhaps what gives them a fair advantage to the game is their signing to Metalblade's more "intense" sub-label, Black Market Activites, (runned and owned by The Red Chord's own Guy Kozowyk) but what really seems to make Architect stand out in their debut release is their complete and unbridled ferocity and anger.
However, unlike the dilluted and dryed out agressive music that has become mainstream and streamlined these guys don't play by the rules of todays agro-metal. They are not some Californian "deathcore" band and you could make a good guess by saying that you wouldn't see these guys at Hot Topic anytime soon. These guys are the real deal... real life pissed off dudes that have a huge grudge and they make it clear.
While some parts of their album take from the somewhat overdone conventions of todays metal/hardcore scene, they send their message true and clear like an atomic bomb. The opening of their first song "The Awakening" starts out with an ultra-soft intro for the first 40 seconds but is completely destroyed by an onslaugt of heavily distorted guitar AND bass with heavy double bass. After the intial pouding their is nearly a 5 second break with heavy feedback before the next track, "Sic Semper Tyrannis", pummels your ears. With grinding loudness and riffs that will make Kurt Ballou proud, the ominous "11" comes in play which sets the stage for the brutality of "Trepanning For Oil" followed by the next ominous track "13". With the end of a nightmarish sample, "Hell Of The Upsidown Sinngers" comes in with a heavy drum roll and it consistently loud and angry the entire track.
"The End Of It" is almost a continuation to "Hell Of The Upsidedown Sinners" and shows that Architect can make breakdowns that can stop hearts. "Collapse Of The War Machine" comes next and takes plenty of infulence from Norma Jean and Pig Destroyer even and is ended by the next ominous track 33 that prepares your ears for "Broke Dick Dog" that starts out with the saying 'You won't make it' followed by a slow, ultra-heavy, chugging breakdown and even shows the technicality of the band in great ways, it also contains probably the greatest breakdown in the album that follows the same lyrical phrase from above. After the destruction of "Broke Dick Dog" is the semi-epic track "The Giving Tree" which shows how versatle the band really is and how they can make even soft like riffs more heavy then most band these days.
By no means are these guys your average tech-metal, Dillinger-wannabee-with-breakdowns band. Their references are all over the place, taking guitar-like riffs from Converge, ferocity from Dillinger, and their vocalist Keith Allen even sounds like a better, more pissed off version of Slipknot's Corey Taylor. Yet while their influences are over the board, they do so with a uniqueness that is unheard of. Architect grinds like Pig Destroyer, and slams out like Edison. You can actually listen to this entire album without becoming bored of listening to the same scales in a million different time signatures and are guaranteed that every breakdown will never be used twice. These guys are loud and angry and they bring a new level of heaviness backed with super low drops.
Keiths lyrics are probably the most solid in this release, making it fully apparent that this band is 110% political, anti-religious and has a disgust with consumerism and conservatism. They blame and point fingers to large industries rather than indiviuals but whichever you believe in more is your opinion. Probably the only real thing that people might find annoying is the super thick and heavy production that makes the disc loose some of its potential rawness but when your signed to Metal Blade you can't expect anything less.