Review Summary: Forgettable, formulaic ear candy.
Architects are one of those bands that settled, plain and simple. Pre-2011 Architects might as well be a separate band from post-2011 Architects. Listening to one album or another on its own would give you a wrong impression of the band as a whole. The UK based hardcore act began as a The Dillinger Escape Plan
esque protégé, exploring the dichotomy between harsh unconventional accents and soothing melodic refrains. Hollow Crown
saw the band streamline their relatively unpredictable sound for a simpler, catchier approach while maintaining their signature vitality. Then the abomination known as The Here and Now
graced the public’s ears in 2011 and essentially alienated both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Architects ditched their technical sound entirely in favor of cheesy post-genericore drivel that nobody expected nor wanted, especially after their preceding success. Since then, Architects tried rehashing their Hollow Crown
formula of stripped down unassuming metalcore, throwing little to no curve balls for the audience. This remains the case on All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
. It might as well have been titled Lost Forever Part 2
or Daybreaker Part 3
as you’d be hard pressed to differentiate any track from the three records. It’s not so much a bad thing as it is disappointing. Lost Forever
wasn’t a terrible album. Its biggest problem is that it wasn’t particularly memorable in the long term, and this same complacency is what plagues All Our Gods
Dissonance and melody are well balanced as usual. Crushing breakdowns are countered with cleanly sung choruses and spastic riffs are largely replaced by controlled mid-tempo grooves. The biggest surprise All Our Gods
has to offer is its closer, the eight minute ‘Memento Mori’, one of the few tracks to differentiate itself from the pack by dabbling with synths, lush atmospheres, blast beats, and boasting a powerful enough chorus to hold your attention for the full runtime. Architects can still write a killer opener too. ‘Nihilist’ kicks off the record with the tight ferocity and infectious energy you’d expect from Architects. The next few songs continue in the same vain of formulaic ear candy. After ‘Downfall’, things take a turn for the dull and predictable, even more so than usual. That is, until the album picks up steam again in its tail end. Regardless, while the songs themselves are decent – hell, damn fun even – there isn’t one thing about All Our Gods
that hasn’t been done better before, either by Architects or by any one of the countless other modern metalcore acts. This style has been done to death already and Architects don’t seem to have any intentions of letting it go.
It’s unfortunate because the band had something special at the beginning. While Nightmares
wasn’t entirely original, it was a breath of fresh air in the metalcore scene because they had the gall to attempt something special. It had the same something that’s been deteriorating in the band ever since – inspiration, vision. Maybe they’re staying on the road of complacency to avoid shitting out another turd like The Here and Now
; maybe they’re fresh out of ideas and plan on regurgitating the same album ad infinitum; or maybe they’re just having fun and releasing exactly the kind of music they want to make. No matter the case, one thing that’s for certain is they aren’t the same band as they once were, and All Our Gods
is just another derivative byproduct of the genre that will soon be forgotten once the next new, fresh, inspired band comes along and knocks off Architects’ hollow crown.