Review Summary: Another solid release from a band that could very well have a bright future ahead of them
Recording their debut album Nightmares with just a mean age of seventeen, Brighton’s Architects have made the most of their early start ever since; slowly developing their music and fan base simultaneously until 2009’s Hollow Crown hit the record stores and secured them a place amongst metalcore/hardcore heavyweights, and touring buddies, such as A Day To Remember, Every Time I Die, and Bring Me The Horizon. Returning with their much anticipated fourth album, The Here And Now, this could be the one to send them stratospheric.
With debut single and first track from the album, ‘Day In Day Out’ already receiving mainstream radio play it’s easy to presume that this could be an overly radio friendly album and a move a way from the heavier Architects of the past. Only part of this is true, however. Whilst this isn’t the raging inferno that was Hollow Crown, and it is more “radio friendly” music, none of this detracts from what is a brilliant album and the next step in the progression of a more grown up, more diverse Architects. ‘Day In Day Out’ captures the essence of this perfectly in it’s mixture of metalcore, punk, and hardcore guitar riffs, guttural screams interspersed with clean melodic vocals, breakdowns, sing-along choruses, and gang chants - it’s a lot to cram into one song, but this is essentially the album condensed into a track and it’s a belter!
We’re definitely presented with a more melodic Architects than in the past and there’s a Thirce-esque feel to the clean vocals layered over intricate guitar work most prevalent on tracks ’Btn’, ’Learn To Live’ and ’Red Eyes’, before the latter two then break down into a full force hardcore tinged oral assault, complete with gut wrenching screams and soaring guitars. ’Delete, Rewind’ and ’Stay Young Forever’, which also features guest vocals from Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld, should please fans of Hollow Crown, with some metalcore based guitar riffage, eardrum splitting screams, and plenty of time to beat down on the dance floor. Adding that final piece to the puzzle, and showcasing Sam Carter’s expanding vocal capabilities are ’An Open Letter To Myself’ and ’Heartburn’. The former, a progressive track, stretches from a slow, melodic vocal led opening, building pace constantly, and adding layers until those brutal screams and huge guitars kick in at the end. The latter, an anthemic number featuring some synth work, is heartfelt, if a little jarring to the flow of the album.
The joy of being a young band is having a huge amount of scope and time to continue working on their craft and developing their music to the places they want to take it. The Here And Now may not please those only interested in the heavier aspects of Architects, but it shows a band who are unafraid of change and of progression. Like the band themselves, this album is constantly changing, and manages to cram a lot of different elements into it’s superbly structured songs, whilst finally giving Carter the opportunity to really show what he can achieve vocally. Although some of the slower tracks detract from the overall feel of the album at first and the final track dissolves into a questionable outro, The Here And Now is a good start for music in 2011, and I’m sure we’ll see it cropping back up on “Best Of…” lists at the latter end of the year.