Architects - For Those That Wish To Exist

Key Facts

Country: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Genre: Progressive Metalcore

Release Date: 26th February 2021

Record Label(s): Epitaph Records


Band Members

Sam Carter - Lead Vocals

Josh Middleton - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals, Production

Adam Christianson - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

Alex "Ali" Dean - Bass, Keyboards, Drum Pad

Dan Searle - Drums, Percussion, Programming, Production


Additional Musicians

Winston McCall (Parkway Drive)  - Guest Vocals on Impermanence

Mike Kerr (Royal Blood) - Guest Vocals on Little Wonder

Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro) - Guest Vocals on Goliath


Architects - Black Lungs


Review
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘.5
Favourite Track(s): Black Lungs, Impermanence (ft. Winston McCall), Discourse Is Dead, An Ordinary Extinction, Little Wonder, Libertine

British metal has undergone a significant evolution over the last couple of years and Architects have always been a band on the edge, pushing the boundaries of metalcore with progressive riffs and instantly atmospheric electronics. The band have had a lot to process over the last few years with the death of founding member and guitarist Tom Searle in 2016, five years later and the second album since For Those That Wish To Exist represents a spreading of wings for the band. If 2018's Holy Hell was an answer for their pain and grief, For Those That Wish To Exist is the next logical step in the band's evolution. The more melodic direction may put off some of the hardcore fans, however alongside Bring Me The Horizon, Architects are leading the charge in the major overhaul of modern British rock and metal. Even so, this album will become a seminal one, regardless of which camp you put yourself in, this is a turning point. 

The most prominent feature of this album is the half stepping away from the traditional Architects sound in terms of the content thrashing and ball busting heaviness found on 2014's Lost Forever//Lost Together and 2016's phenomenal All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, in favour for a more melodic and atmospheric direction. There is a lot more subtlety and nuance in the songs which helps the lyrical themes of a dying plant really hit home within the slower, emotional phases. This is very much part of the current contemporary movement within metalcore to evolve the genre and make it more accessible to new fans. With that in mind, as much as this album is revolutionary, it will become a gateway album to the band, much like Bring Me The Horizon's amo. I think it is fair to state now that this album will bring a lot of comparisons to other bands in the scene, such as the aforementioned Bring Me The Horizon, for its heavy use of string sections, electronic movements and melodic shift. The album captures beautifully the frustration we all feel within is about the lack of movement from our governments towards a greener future, by capturing this devastating set of emotions the album does give your emotions a significant beating. This is a testament to Architects incredible ability to turn devastating tragedy into a rich, emotionally engaging music. Over the hour long album it feels like the band are wrestling with themselves in terms of how the songs should sound as well as the scale of the subject matter. Whilst the skilful oscillation between thoughtful, sorrowful finely crafted compositions and massive, cave man stepping, hulking exercises into metal are still prominent, it just feels like a bit of the signature Architects gut punch got lost along the way. Even so, the album feels more like a cinematic Hans Zimmer-esque film score, with sublime, melancholic melodies that were first established within the band's sound on 2018's Holy Hell. Whilst the album feels stadium ready, is shows that Architects aren't afraid to explore the more dulcet and subtle areas of their sound, and while riff purists may sneer, this demonstrates the passion the band have for boundary pushing instead of living in the past and recreating something like All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

If anything, it is a positive that Architects have drawn on all their influences outside of metal, as it adds a rich and diverse approach to melody that will resonate with anyone to some extent. Even though some of the harder hitting riffs seem to be absent when they should be very much in the foreground, it is hard to dismiss the haunting, sorrowful and moving emotional songs such as Dead Butterflies, Dying Is Absolutely Safe and Flight Without Feathers, all embodying a hopelessness that moves the soul. You can feel the raw emotion and thought behind each song, and whilst some sections are familiar to the stereotypical Architects sound in songs such as Impermanence (ft. Winston McCall) and Black Lungs, and to some extent An Ordinary Extinction, a lot of the album signifies a new chapter for the band. Overall, the album is more of a cinematic experience than a metal album, and whilst they have stripped back the signature Architects math rock hardcore riffing, the new melodic direction sounds promising but on this occasion falls a bit flat in some areas, but it shows a whole new level of potential that is not yet fully formed, making For Those That Wish To Exist a stepping stone to further greatness. 

The production of the album is remarkable considering it is what is now defined as a "pandemic album". The band have experimented with elements of self-production before but for a first really full scale effort there is a roughness to it that complements the music. The electronic back drop in a lot of the songs are symphonic, enveloping the rest of the instruments in a sphere of soaring melody. The layering of these electronic parts add such a rich and dynamic texture to the album that, after repeated listens, you find something new each time.  The drums sound tight and incredibly cohesive (which is also a testament to the virtuosity of Dan Searle), the kick has a driving and pulsing thump that transcends the whole album, the snare occasionally sounds a bit dull but in some areas it has the right amount of snap to really reinforce the breakdown sections. The guitar tones have a strange warmth to them, which is a change from the steely coldness we have come to expect from the band's guitar tone. The various effects processing is numerous but they still stand out and are uniquely Architects. The bass is thick and heavy, really pounding away in the low end to give some added weight to the guitars. Overall, the mix is distinctly Architects, which shows how comfortable the band are with their sound and how to open it up to the more experimental side and still execute their sound to the highest degree. 

There is a lot to get your head round with this album, and that is probably where some of us will fail to fully comprehend what this album is. When we look back in a few years it will no doubt be a hallmark of alternative music from this period regardless of what we think of it now. So, if you wish to exist in a melodic and cinematic experience, tune in to For Those That Wish To Exist now.

Architects - For Those That Wish To Exist

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