It’s no secret that Architects have had their fair share of up and down reactions to their albums in the past. We’ll not mention the name of a certain commercial-friendly collection of tracks that went down as well as a nun’s knickers. Luckily, since those days, the Brighton metalcore quintet have upped their game to seriously dizzying heights. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us is Architects‘ seventh album, released on 27th May through Epitaph.
There have already been multiple comparisons to the band’s preceding album, Lost Forever // Lost Together and these are not unfounded comparisons at all. However, far from being a bad thing, this is what makes the album so great. In 2014, Lost Forever // Lost Together rescued Architects from their self-confessed downwards spiral. Following a world tour that nearly broke them as a band and as people, the phenomenal reception from critics and the public renewed the band’s morale and got them the recognition they’ve been deserving for over a decade.
It’s fair to say that the band have been experiencing some of the best years of their life off the back of Lost Forever // Lost Together, and now with All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us they’ve sat down and decided to tackle the real shit. The depraved state of the world in the 21st Century. The questionable politics that define our generation’s universe and the unthinkable morals possessed by some of the world’s most powerfully influential leaders.
From the stomach-turning opening lines of Nihilist that are delivered with a fury that vocalist Sam Carter has never previously exhibited, you can tell Architects have poured countless days worth of blood, sweat and tears into this album. It’s a statement track that will turn entire rooms of people into a swirling mass of bodies on their upcoming tours.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that Architects have reinvented themselves with All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, nor would it be true. They’ve clarified their sound, removed the impurities that might once have niggled there. With the line-up change of Adam Christianson permanently joining the band just prior to the writing of the album commencing, you might expect a few teething difficulties but the new guitarist slots in as if he was always meant to fit there.
Phantom Fear showcases hooks from Carter that he’s previously exhibited so well in Architects‘ better material. That now trademark sound of a strung-out vocal leading in to a ferociously roared bridge and chugging breakdown is at its finest here. This is what we know Architects for, and this is why we adore them.
Downfall, which the band premiered a week before the album’s release, has this absolutely cracking ‘We are paralysed,’ line, which leads into the catchiest chorus on the album. If you manage to sit still, wherever you are, listening to this then there’s got to be something going wrong with your receptors. It’s such an anthemic beast. This is Architects saying, ‘Don’t fuck with us now.’ They’ve worked their way up to this almost God-like prestigious level within the UK music scene – hell, the world-wide metal scene – and from the sounds of this, they’re not about to let anyone drag them down any time soon. It obviously helps that the song is clearly about the current state of UK politics and the pig-fuckers behind them, so that hatred is encapsulated astoundingly well.
Gone With The Wind comprises of subtle yet effective synths, which feature in a way that really adds an extra sheen to the song, especially to the insanely technical, fret-destroying guitar work on display from Tom Searle and newbie Christianson.
Having made so many loose comparisons to LF//LT, I feel it’s important to highlight here the fact that Architects still manage to venture into as yet uncharted territory. Closing track Memento Mori is an eight-minute long sensation featuring samples from philosopher Alan Watts. His thought-provoking snippets of wisdom combined with juddering, atmospheric electronics and emotion-laden vocals from Sam create an end product that hasn’t been pulled off this well by anyone. Ever. It’s an absolutely astounding closer to a game-changer of an album.
It’s refreshing and gratifying to see a band like Architects finally sitting pretty at the very top of their game. With such an over-saturated market as metalcore, and with the fluctuating standard of their previous albums, it would have been so easy for them to fall into the trap so many bands have done before and fade into nothingness a good few years ago by just failing to remain relevant. Instead, they’ve taken their strengths and built upon them, they’ve introduced new elements at an extremely high standard, they’ve addressed matters they’ve only briefly touched upon before and the result is a revolutionary masterpiece. Pick out a negative about All Our Gods…? I honestly, for the first time since I began doing this, cannot find a fault. This is flawless.
When there's an album as simply flawless as this, it's hard not to. Areas for improvement? Nope, I'm stumped on that one. Phenomenal release from one of the UK's finest offerings.