Ghost Of The Salt Water Machines
posted on 1/2009 By:
Not quite sure what it was that stopped me from checking out Architect’s first full-length All Is Not Lost, but maybe it was just as well. If that album was half as angry and drenched in disgust as Ghost of the Salt Water Machines I probably would have run off with tail firmly between legs, not daring to be subjected to such abuse ever again. The sound of Architect takes me back to that time in the mid-nineties when great bands like Coalesce, Botch and Deadguy were smashing down the walls that existed between hardcore and metal, creating a new brand of extremity in the process. Architect evokes that sound; pure hardcore intensity fused with down-tuned metal guitars and violent, jarring song structures. This is what you face when you hit play on Ghost of the Salt Water Machines and, assuming you have any skin left, you may well need to take a shower afterwards.
The thing I appreciate most about Architect is their ability to remain listenable despite how uncompromising their jagged, discordant take on metalcore is. The fleeting appearance of melody and atmospherics on “Camelot In Smithereens” is tantalizingly good, and something I’d like to see the band utilize more in future. A number of tracks are bolstered by sludgy, one-string riffs ala Intronaut that really add to this album’s overall sense of catchiness and groove. “Lamplighter” and “The Dog and Pony Show” meanwhile have a more straightforward hardcore sensibility to them which breaks up the density of other tracks quite effectively.
Probably the only thing I’m not completely sold on with Architect is the vocals. Not faulting their power or delivery, but the screaming is so unrelenting and at times high-pitched that it does tend to grate a bit. Thankfully, it never becomes too much due to the album’s brevity. Other than that, Ghost of the Salt Water Machines is a pummeling affair that does just about everything right when it comes to intelligent, brutal hardcore metal. Oh, one more thing: “I Am Become Death” has to be one of the most nihilistic hardcore anthems ever.
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