Architects – Holy Hell
Review by Adam McCann
Epitaph Records – 2018 – Metalcore
It has been a tough few years for Architects. The British metalcore band suffered a huge loss in 2016 with the passing of Tom Searle; one of the founding members, lead guitarist and brother of drummer Dan Searle. This hit Architects hard and yet, spurred them to continue giving the band not only a duality of one of the premier metalcore acts, but also as a lasting memorial to their fallen brother and friend. During the tour for the bands 2016 album, the aptly titled ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’, Architects loaned Sylosis guitarist Josh Middleton to fill tour commitments before taking him as a full member in 2017 and releasing their latest album ‘Holy Hell’ in 2018.
‘Holy Hell’ immediately takes no prisoners; the death of Tom Searle has given Architects a sense of their own mortality, the album searches grief, anger and denial, lashing out at themselves, medicine and religion with tracks like ‘Damnation’, ‘Mortal After All’ and ‘Hereafter’ as the band come to terms with life beyond the death of their friend. Unlike many of their peers, Architects have a slight progressive streak to them and this technicality adds to their appeal over bands such as Enter Shakari, placing them at the most commercial end of the likes of Between The Buried And Me.
The addition of Middleton has also given the band a different sort of aggressive drive. The Sylosis man adds his sound to ‘Holy Hell’ with some excellent playing, particularly during ‘Royal Beggars’ and ‘Modern Misery’ whilst Dan Searle’s powerhouse drumming and ethereal programming provides an excellent juxtaposition throughout.
As an album, ‘Holy Hell’ may not be one to rise to the lips of the older, dyed in the wool metalhead; but it is truly an exceptional and enjoyable album throughout and it shows exactly why Architects are one of the leading names in their genre. Tom Searle would be proud.
Rating : 87/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann