posted on 8/2008 By:
I’d heard and read good things about this UK band’s sophomore effort when it was originally released last year. Now that Century Media have kindly taken on Architects for wider distribution, we can now all have a listen for ourselves. I’m pleased to report that Ruin is an impressive offering of noisy, abrasive metalcore with top-notch musicianship and production. No doubt there will be instant haters, but given the staleness of the genre these days, you aren’t likely to find many young bands sounding as accomplished as Architects do on Ruin.
The most pleasing aspect of this album is its assured songwriting that achieves a consistent balance between the brutal and melodic aspects of Architects’ sound. For the most part, it’s an amalgamation of tech death riffs, noisecore dissonance and violent drumming that chops and changes frequently. But the band surprises by throwing in the sort of haunting, atmospheric guitar melodies you’d more readily expect from a Cult Of Luna album (see “Heartless” and “Low” for the best examples of this). It is during these moments that Architects show they understand the importance of dynamics and this lends their music a considerable degree of depth and maturity.
New boy Sam Carter’s vocals are likely to be a make or break factor for some. There’s no doubt the lad has a decent scream, but such is the forcefulness of his delivery that it does grate at times. The clean vocals, particularly on “You’ll Find Safety” will most likely cause offence somewhere, but they appear far less frequently than other bands of this ilk. To be fair, Carter’s singing is pulled off well and actually provides a welcome break from the otherwise constant screaming. The addition of gang vocals on tracks like “Buried at Sea” and “I Can’t See the Light” also works well.
The only real quibble I have with Architects at this point is that the songs on Ruin, strong as they are, become familiar a little too quickly, giving the impression that the album may not have the legs to be counted amongst the top releases come year’s end. Aside from that, Ruin is a biting metal/hardcore album that should go down well with those into Harlots and the like. Given their youth, Architects are already quite advanced in terms of musicianship, production values and songwriting ability, and should they continue down this path then sky’s the limit.
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