REVIEW: Architects – ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’

architects

Artist: Architects (UK)
Album: Lost Forever// Lost Together
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Epitaph Records

For a long time, I didn’t understand the hype that surrounded the Brighton-based metalcore act, Architects. I was first introduced to the group back in high school, and though I didn’t hate the music they were producing at the time, it did little for me in comparison to more established bands battling for the same niche. There were some cool breakdowns here and there, and the occasional helping of well-placed melody, but otherwise, in my opinion, the outfit seemed incapable of rising above genre stereotypes.

Over the course of several more albums, many of my close friends slowly grew into fans of the four-piece, and as Architects began to build a devout fan base across both sides of the Atlantic, I remained wholly on the fence. That is, until I heard “Naysayer,” the first single to be released off of what would be the group’s sixth album, Lost Forever // Lost Together. The track stuck out like blood spattered across a white sheet, and almost instantly, I was hooked. Every bit as meticulous as it was bloodthirsty, the blastbeat-laden assault charged forward with the speed and precision of a marksman’s bullet, carried by an anthem-like refrain and a never-before-seen sense of purpose. None of it felt forced, and each riff rolled effortlessly from one to the next. It was catchy, it was heavy, and it was awesome. I knew if this initial offering was a sign of things to come, this would be one release that I wouldn’t want to miss.

That was nearly four months ago now, and after countless playbacks, I can promise you that Lost Forever // Lost Together is everything I had hoped for and more. Like the album’s lead-off single, each track is airtight, resulting in a body of work that operates as a single unit, rather than relying on the support of a few stand-alone gems. Devoid of filler, this newest attempt showcases a level of depth and talent that, until recently, I wasn’t sure the group possessed, and though not as forward thinking as it could be, Architects have, without a doubt, produced their best record to date.

The opener, “Gravedigger,” immediately sets the LP’s breakneck pace, sprinting headlong without hesitation before erupting into a gut-wrenching breakdown that puts many heavier acts to shame. Tossed between punchy one-two rhythms and shifting time signatures, listeners are then immersed in the previously referenced “Naysayer,” only to then be swallowed up by the album’s second single, “Broken Cross,” whose lofty inquiries are representative of the broad topic matter addressed throughout the album. The instrumental track, “Red Hypergiant,” feels right at home amongst the bloodshed, offering a brief but welcome lull before listeners are overpowered by the metallic roar of “C.A.N.C.E.R.”

This is the point where Lost Forever // Lost Together shines and excels where so many other metal albums fail. While efforts in the same vein usually lose steam as they draw to a close, Architects refuse to decelerate, only further pushing the boundaries of their craft. “Colony Collapse” is an introspective track complete with an infectious hook, while the opening seconds of “Castles In The Air” are nothing short of riot-inciting. Vocalist Sam Carter’s delivery is beyond noteworthy, seamlessly alternating between bone-crushing and beautiful, and expertly diverting from the band’s habit of recycling heard-before riffs and lyrics. “Youth Is Wasted On The Young,” the song from which the record gains its title, finds the 25-year-old Brit triumphantly proclaiming “The past is dead!” over chaotic guitar lines, while “The Distant Blue” shows off his impressive flexibility as a frontman.

Though they haven’t reinvented the metalcore genre with Lost Forever // Lost Together, Architects certainly have done their damndest to perfect it. Rather than exploring uncharted territories, admirably, the group has opted to revisit their roots, which has in turn allowed them to refine their sound with staggering efficiency. Intense, intricate, and fun for the whole family, this is Architects as they were always meant to be. I strongly suggest you pick up Lost Forever // Lost Together when it drops tomorrow (March 11) via Epitaph Records.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by Kyle Florence (follow him on Twitter)

Kyle Florence

Kyle Florence is a proud Wisconsinite, a dinosaur enthusiast, and a lover of all things weird and whacky.
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