Review Summary: Inevitably settling.
Architects have spent seemingly their entire careers trying to decide what kind of band they want to be. After tiring of the technical mathcore stylings of Nightmares and Ruin
, moving on from the breakneck pace of Hollow Crown
, and junking the accessible post-hardcore sound of The Here and Now
, the band finally seemed to feel comfortable in their skin with 2014’s Lost Forever // Lost Together
. A technically sound metalcore album filled with mammoth guitar riffs and “scream it out” type choruses, Lost Forever
propelled Architects to a new level of fandom and cemented something of their own signature sound.
Unfortunately, this is where most of the problems with All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
lie. After seeing their fanbase's fervent response to Lost Forever, Architects saw it fit to produce some more of the same…. like, exactly the same. Bringing back the production team from Lost Forever
, there’s very little change to be found sonically on this record. The guitar tones are more or less exactly the same, the bass is just as unremarkable and inaudible as before, and Sam Carter’s abrasive half-screaming/half-shouting vocal style, while impressive, is virtually unchanged. Listening to selections from both albums, it’s almost remarkable to think they weren’t recorded at the same time.
This wouldn’t be much of a problem if Architects’ songwriting had evolved, but there’s not much growth to be found there either. The general theme of All Our Gods
seems to be “everything bigger”. Bigger riffs, bigger choruses, and bigger songs that are meant to be played in huge stadiums. Sometimes they succeed, such as in the monster introduction to “Nihilist” or the melodic guitar leads and twittering electronics of “Gravity”. Most of the time, however, the ideas here just come across as having been done before. Lead single “A Match Made In Heaven” plays out like a B-side from Lost Forever
, featuring an exceedingly average riff that could have been pulled from any song on that record, rehashed lyrics about corruption of some type, and token “BLEGH”s. “Deathwish” impressively manages to sound exactly like the last record's “Gravedigger”, “The Devil is Near”, and “C.A.N.C.E.R.”, all at once. Instead of letting the more sparse moments of the record just be sparse, Architects continue to frustratingly stick in soundbites of speeches from various philosophers in an attempt to appear deep and thoughtful.
That’s not to say All Our Gods
doesn’t have its moments, most of which come on the latter half of the record. The aforementioned “Gravity” is a huge, powerful track that’s wonderfully melodic and memorable. “All Love Is Lost” churns at a grim pace, building and showing impressive restraint until its explosive ending. The 8-minute closer “Memento Mori” is easily the most musically impressive track here, winding through various passages seamlessly and incorporating strings that are appropriately dramatic and never overbearing. The song’s conclusion is particularly breathtaking, with Carter shrieking passionately over monster blast beats and a cascading wall of strings, guitars, and electronics. Sadly, moments like this are too few and far between to really prevent the record from sounding like a rehash.
is a perfectly solid metalcore album that didn't really need a direct sequel. Regrettably, that’s more or less what All Our Gods
is. The songs are tight, punchy, accurately performed and cleanly produced, but this is more or less the sound of a band riding on what works. As Sam Carter belts “I’ve heard it all before” in the chorus to “Gravity”, you can’t really help but be inclined to agree.