Architects - Holy Hell / Turned Up Louder
An album as strong as Architects ‘Holy Hell’ is difficult to put into words. The force of emotion behind the lyrics with symphonies and harmonies that create an act of defiance. A reminder to fans that no matter what’s going on, they’ve got this. The passing of Tom Searle hit the metal community hard, but the resistance and passion of the band hasn’t gone unnoticed and ‘Holy Hell’ is the band’s return, even without him, does the band and his legacy justice.
Opening the album comes ‘Death Is Not Defeat’, a progressive instrumental sends chills, with Sam Carters vocals coming in to provide a new depth to the layers. An eerie “Death Is Not Defeat” rings through in an isolated vocal, a heartbeat for a second and then the introduction of solid riffs provided by Adam Christianson and Josh Middleton. The track leads perfectly into the albums lead single ‘Hereafter’, an already favourite amongst fans with the video amassing over 3 million views and quickly growing. The progressive but heavy metalcore sound is one that everyone has grown to know and love and Architects have stuck true to that. Carter’s solemnity in the opening line with the crash of synth around him creates a passionate collision of sound that rings true to the bands ever growing sound.
Leading into ‘Mortal After All’, the song rings in with an electronic beat and Carter’s ferocious vocals; drums fall into perfect place from Dan Searle, a collision of cymbals creates the perfect opener to a song that holds so much depth. ‘Holy Hell’ the title track brings an emphasis on lyrics, bringing a quicker tempo to the album, the song brings Ali Dean’s bass to the front of the song, with an emphasis on a chuggier sound. Even four tracks in, you can hear the pain and heart of a band in mourning through layers of furious vocals and thrashing guitars. ‘Damnation’ is the bridge between ‘Holy Hell’ onto single two ‘Royal Beggars’, the song brings melody back after a few metal focused tracks. ‘Royal Beggars’ became a popular track with fans due to its harmonies and softer opening, almost as though it was a calm before the storm. The eruption of guitar comes in full force in the track with Carter’s vocals pushing through the layers. Track seven of the album brings the bands third song before release and potentially the strongest of the three, ‘Modern Misery’ a song that brings chills when “I won’t go to the grave with a song still in me” echoes. Layers of harmonies present depth and emotion that is felt within. ‘Dying to Heal’ and ‘The Seventh Circle’ both present fast riffs that create a perfect bridge to ‘Doomsday’ a track that evolved from a song originally written by Tom Searle for ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’. Completed by Dan Searle the track provides emotional conflict, and though originally a stand alone single, it creates a perfect bridge between albums. The song is anthemic and this was proven in the bands performance at Alexandra Palace, one that induced chills on people around the room.
Closing up the album comes ‘A Wasted Hymn’, strings bring an eerie entrance to a strong closing track. A much slower track but with the same depth as the rest of the album, Dan Searle’s drumming rings through with pain in Carter’s voice. The track shows unison in the band, an electric layering that forms a perfect close to an album full of pain but passion for the music. The band deserve nothing but respect for the heartfelt emotion that’s prevalent throughout the record. This is Architects act of defiance.