Album Review: Architects – Hollow Crown
Architects are a technical metalcore quintet from Brighton, who exploded onto the scene back in early 2009 with their third album Hollow Crown. Along with Bring Me the Horizon, Architects are responsible for the growth of the Metalcore scene in the UK, a scene that is flooded with american bands. As mentioned previously Hollow Crown is a technical metalcore album (from here on out we’ll just say tech). Taking the heavy rhythm and bass breakdowns and the speedy lead guitar riffs and fast drums of mathcore and combining them with tech actually requires a level of skill rather than just playing open strings for an entire gig like several metalcore bands do.
Lead single and first track Early Grave will instantly turn people off from the album and genre if they’re not used to it. I have to admit that when I first heard this track I hated it. If the volume is too loud then this track sounds like loud distorted noise with lead singer Sam Carter screaming like a hell fiend of the top of it all. At the right volume however this track can be appreciated. The bass keeps the speedy breakdown rhythm whilst guitarists Tom Searle and Tom Hiller-Brook work their fingers to stubs on an incredibly technical riff throughout the track. The song is about the bands destructive lifestyles and if their first track is anything to judge by then they must leave nuclear crators where ever they go.
The second single from the album Follow the Water has a non typical breakdown opening again with bassist Ali Dean keeping heavy breakdown rhythm whilst Searle and Hiller-Brook play a tech riff throughout. Carter actually sings on this track, his clean vocals are reminiscent of Josh Franchessi from You Me At Six. “Follow the Water! Drain the lake and bring it back to me!” chants the band in unhinged melodic fury. Album closer Hollow Crown begins with a slow cymbal tapping whilst Sam Carter sings with clean vocals. Single bass chords are plucked whilst Searle plays a quiet guitar riff. This continues for a good 2 minutes before Carter begins to scream “There must be, an easier way!” and the track bursts like a damn of fury and sorrow. The guitars aren’t as technical on this track but after almost an hour of tech it’s not a bad thing.
I give this album 7 out of 10. It’s a really good, angry tech metalcore band but I only reviewed three tracks because they’re the only three tracks that stand out. The rest of the album feels like filler and you’ll never hear an Architects fan mention any of the other songs. Architects fourth album The Here and Now only furthers the bands failure to find their own sound by dropping the tech and adding in generic riff. Also I hate that bassist Ali Dean has such a poor role on the album which fits in with what Joe Doyle said in his article on bassists. Hopefully the band will finally prove themselves with their new release Daybreaker but that remains to be seen.