11 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When British metalcore band Architects lost founding guitarist Tom Searle to cancer in 2016, it was like losing a family member; for drummer and Tom’s twin brother Dan, he literally had. Many bands would go on a hiatus or even break up after such a tragic event; Architects went on to channel their grief into their eighth album, Holy Hell, their most personal yet. Building on their enormous sound—and on Tom’s legacy as the band’s chief songwriter—they color their extreme, melodic repertoire with melodramatic orchestration and electronic beats while chronicling the two years following his death.

Listen to the final minute of opening track “Death Is Not Defeat” and you’ll hear a pure, intense expression of physical catharsis: As frontman Sam Carter howls the song’s title over swelling percussion and frenetic strings, you can picture him unleashing every ounce of his pain and emotion into the mic. “Hereafter” faces the immediate trauma that followed: “I wasn’t ready for the rapture…I’ve been learning to live without, and I’m fighting with broken bones.” They start to find acceptance on “Royal Beggars”: “’Cause we’re broken…but we’re coping.” And the thunderous closer, “A Wasted Hymn,” looks to the future over a wall of epic strings, drums, and guitar: “Life comes at a cost, but all is not lost.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

When British metalcore band Architects lost founding guitarist Tom Searle to cancer in 2016, it was like losing a family member; for drummer and Tom’s twin brother Dan, he literally had. Many bands would go on a hiatus or even break up after such a tragic event; Architects went on to channel their grief into their eighth album, Holy Hell, their most personal yet. Building on their enormous sound—and on Tom’s legacy as the band’s chief songwriter—they color their extreme, melodic repertoire with melodramatic orchestration and electronic beats while chronicling the two years following his death.

Listen to the final minute of opening track “Death Is Not Defeat” and you’ll hear a pure, intense expression of physical catharsis: As frontman Sam Carter howls the song’s title over swelling percussion and frenetic strings, you can picture him unleashing every ounce of his pain and emotion into the mic. “Hereafter” faces the immediate trauma that followed: “I wasn’t ready for the rapture…I’ve been learning to live without, and I’m fighting with broken bones.” They start to find acceptance on “Royal Beggars”: “’Cause we’re broken…but we’re coping.” And the thunderous closer, “A Wasted Hymn,” looks to the future over a wall of epic strings, drums, and guitar: “Life comes at a cost, but all is not lost.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
149 Ratings

149 Ratings

Danny Tackett Jr ,

Funniest thing i have ever heard

Who ever kellykz1 is you have no idea what youre talking about architects are one of the best metal bands out there if not the best go get a life fool and then reconsider your opinion.

Scangebag ,

UK delivers.

I’m more of a Thy Art is Murder guy, however this band could easily be in between Linkin’ Park and Tesseract. Very emotional, angry lyrics, as they should coming from someone that lost a band member at 28.

Nsjohn130 ,

There’s no disrespect in 4/5

I rated this album a 4/5, but not because it’s quality of material. In a vacuum, it’s a 5/5. But when compared to other works by them, it’s a 4/5. Nothing to be ashamed of and I’m not being critical- these guys kick butt.

The Seventh Circle is awesome.

So are many of the songs. Mortal After All, Holy Hell...there’s some very heavy moments here.

But.

When I first listened to LF/LT, the first Architects album I had ever heard, I heard “Broken Cross”. I was totally blown away. The album was and is a masterpiece. The guitars are very technical, mixed with ambience, dynamics of highs and lows, extremely moving lyrics, and the vocals were slightly less in the forefront in the mix.

I don’t hear a “Colony Collapse” or a “The Distant Blue”.

Sam’s vocals are different on LT/LF. There is a half song half scream going on with individual words, mixed with full cleans and full screams. Each word is like a crescendo. Sam’s overall vocal quality may be better now, but I appreciated the style more than the vocals on albums since.

To this day, that album is in my top 25 all time metal albums.

AOGHAU was a change. Less of that desperate energy of everything that is messed up with the Earth, more slow, foreboding guitar lines. Much heavier bass and heavy synths. Some very very good lyrics, but really not quite as interesting.

This album is further along the lines of AOGHAU. Which, isn’t bad per say. It’s a super solid sound. NO ONE sounds like Sam. With the tragic death of Tom, the technicality, which seemed to be phasing out for a broader reaching sound (smart decision from a business POV- I have nothing but respect for that as an entrepreneur) in Tom’s writing anyways, has continued to become more basic. But, at least it is focused and consistent and still has a very heavy sound.

There isn’t another metal band with the same sort of electronic ambience mixed with the metal aspect that they deliver. That’s always going to be top shelf. It’s fun to listen to, it’s great to have, it just isn’t quite the same as LT/LF. That album has an aggression and chaos that just may never be replicated again.

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