British metal starlets Architects have had a very tumultuous couple of years, with all the highs of their successes with their previous albums, particularly 2016’s ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ and performing sell-out shows including at the Royal Albert Hall in London being marred by the low of the devastating passing of founding member and guitarist Tom Searle in 2016 after a three year battle with skin cancer. The Brighton metalcorers’ eighth album ‘Holy Hell’ is the first music to be written without the aforementioned Searle brother.
‘Holy Hell’ is clearly a tribute to their beloved former bandmate. There is a strong emotion that can be felt throughout the record. With ‘Doomsday’ being the first track to be released back in 2017, the last song that Tom was working on prior to his passing and the only one to feature any of the guitarists talents on, the remaining ten songs pour a full two years of grief and hardship into a blender with technically sound instrumentation to create a strong record that is set to see Architects reap further praise throughout the globe.
The introduction of electronic elements throughout the record, seen on the likes of ‘Death Is Not Defeat’ and ‘Mortal After All’ add a touch of atmosphere to counter the technical brutality of the overriding breakdowns and angst-ridden screams. ‘Royal Beggars’ sees the first track of the album to feature more clean vocals through the verses and fully details the struggles faced following the death of a loved one, portraying anger and sadness while describing the feeling of losing your way. I Will Go To The Grave With A Song Still In Me is a nod to ‘Doomsday’ being the track Tom never finished and amplifies ‘Modern Misery’ into one of the stand-outs on the record.
‘They say “the good die young”’, ‘souls don’t break, they bend. But I sometimes forget I have to do this for you and the only way out is through. Yeah, death is an open door.’ Are just some of the heartbreaking lyrics from ‘Doomsday’ and truly amplify the emotional level Architects dove into on the eleven-track opus. An album that is one to be proud of for the quintet.