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Metalcore or math metal, ARCHITECTS mapped out their plan of action from day one, some time in 2004. Initially comprising of twin brothers Tom (guitars) and Dan Searle (drums), plus Matt Johnson (vocals), Tim Hillier-Brook (guitar) and Tim Lucas (bass), it was not a matter of lock up your daughters, but lock up your doors and windows to avoid the garage barrage of post-grindcore growling circulating around their Brighton ‘hood.
The foundations built, the blueprints in, and subject to scrutiny by all and sundry with an incline to earlobe to their “music” under the piercing pressure of pain, ARCHITECTS had no link to the hard-rock metal of old, these young punks were thoroughly into HATEBREED, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, THROWDOWN and the like; exampled more or less on their self-financed debut set, NIGHTMARES (2006) {*6}. The whys and wherefores on the decision to duly show Johnson and Lucas the door was unclear, but the brain-storming `Minesweeper’ and others probably disguised the fact the band wanted to scale up.
Filling these vacancies with Sam Carter and Alex “Ali” Dean, respectively, ARCHITECTS were chalking up album two, RUIN (2007) {*6}, a record even more pulverising and dense than its predecessor. If JOHN BARRY would ever commission a metal-core act to help score a movie, then the military instrumental `Sail This Ship Alone’ would be called upon – an effective interlude wedged ‘tween the relentless `Always’ and `Heartless’. America being the building bricks for bands like ARCHITECTS, Century Media Records would sign the band, delivering the aforesaid set the following May, whilst they toured the States supporting SUICIDE SILENCE, The TONY DANZA EXTRAVAGANZA and BENEATH THE MASSACRE.
2009’s HOLLOW CROWN {*6} saw a gut-wrenching Carter and Co take on the world with angst-ridden and torturous tracks, including `Early Grave’, `Dethroned’, `Dead March’ and `Numbers Count For Nothing’ all uncompromising and ominous. The transitional THE HERE AND NOW (2011) {*6} proved a little subdued next to their malevolent back catalogue, and most important of all… it reached the lower end of the UK charts. Melody screaming emo-like from `The Blues’, `Day In Day Out’ and the rest, ARCHITECTS were now understanding of channelling noise within musical boundaries. Two songs in particular stood out, in that guest spots were afforded Andrew Neufeld (of punks COMEBACK KID) on `Stay Young forever’ and Greg Puciato (of The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) on `Year In Year Out’ / `Up And Away’.
The collaborative formula was repeated on 2012’s Top 50 entry, DAYBREAKER {*6}: `These Colours Don’t Run’ featuring Jon Green (of DEEZ NUTS), `Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat’ featuring Oli Sykes (of BRING ME THE HORIZON) and `Outsider Heart’ featuring Drew Hyork (of STRAY FROM THE PATH). Chaotic and sprawling with their prescription Jekyll & Hyde sides on show on `Devil’s Island’ and `Outsider Heart’, American fans must’ve been shocked when they heard near-scream-less covers of BON IVER’s `Blood Bank’ and THRICE’s `Of Dust And Nations’ on the deluxe-CD version of the set.
Drawing inspiration from their signing to punk/metal label Epitaph, but losing Hillier-Brook in the process, LOST FOREVER // LOST TOGETHER (2014) {*7} finally gave the confrontational combo a deserved Top 20 place. Bolstered by anthemic bolts from the blue, `Gravedigger’, `Naysayer’ and the schizoid `Youth Is Wasted On The Young’, they’d learned how to marry maniacal metal with melody… however slim. One listen to the head-spinning `C.A.N.C.E.R.’, spelt out loud and clear the singular pain of Tom – as it proved a little later.
Returning from Gothenburg in Sweden to the shores of Brighton (guitarist Adam Christianson in tow), veggie environmentalists ARCHITECTS showed that their previous set was no fluke as ALL OUR GODS HAVE ABANDONED US (2016) {*7} catapulted in at No.15. Also breaking minor chart ground across the Big Pond, the Fredrik Nordstrom-produced record had its apocalyptic moments, raging against the machinations of power and greed under the light of `Nihilist’, `Downfall’, `A Match Made In Heaven’ and `Gone With The Wind’. Sadly, and indeed tragically, only three months after its release, guitarist/keyboardist Tom Searle died of cancer on 20 August 2016; he was only 28.
Finding a suitable replacement to fill Tom’s shoes was not going to be a simple task, but by the following year, ex-Sylosis lead guitarist Josh Middleton was drafted in to complete HOLY HELL (2018) {*7}. ARCHITECTS had finally came up trumps, so to speak, in the normally impenetrable and musically jingoistic American Top 100, whilst in their own backyard, a Top 20 position was now almost par for the course. Carter and Co might’ve lost one soul, but in newbie Josh, and seismic sonic-metal tracks such as the poignant `Death Is Not Defeat’, `Hereafter’, `Doomsday’ et al, the towering ARCHITECTS had drawn up a new design for life.
© MC Strong/MCS Aug2016-Nov2018

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