Architects is a (currently) four-piece act from the UK that formed in 2004 and plays a style of metalcore that is technical, aggressive and melodic. The band has been consistently hard at work, releasing a split EP and five full-length albums in its 10-year career, as well as touring all over the world. Fronted by Sam Carter, Architects is rounded out by Alex Dean on bass and Dan and Tom Searle on drums and guitar respectively.
The band's three most recent albums were released through Century Media Records, and two of which (The Here and Now and Daybreaker) left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth; both had some incredible songs, but the overall effort fell short compared to that of Hollow Crown and Ruin. If you're like me, you should be happy to hear that the band's sixth full length, Lost Forever // Lost Together (the first to be released by Epitaph Records), is a return to the sound heard on Hollow Crown. Heck, even the artwork brings to mind that album.
Lost Forever // Lost Together opens with the impressive "Gravedigger" and "Naysayer." They are aggressive, yet they still show hints of technicality and passionate clean-vocal segments. The drumming on "Gravedigger" is worthy of noting, as is the massive finish to "Naysayer." "Broken Cross" features more ambience than the previous songs, but it still maintains that aggressive, dissonant guitar style that Architects is known so well for.
"The Devil Is Near" was the first song to really take my breath away on this album. It's one of the faster and most melodic tracks thus far, the bridge near the middle of the track features an interesting sound clip and it eventually comes to a close with a beautiful synth section. "Dead Man Talking" offers a similar formula as the tracks before it, but it picks up some steam near the midway point. After drumming and some more effects close out "Dead Man Talking," the interlude titled "Red Hypergiant" slowly fades in; it contains another sound clip and some solid guitar parts, but it seems to drag on for much longer than two minutes.
Architects gets back on the right path with tracks seven through ten. "C.A.N.C.E.R." is one of the heavier songs I've heard from the band, as it's loaded with groovy riffs and an extremely bouncy breakdown that reminded me of Northlane and Volumes. "Colony Collapse" was immediately a personal favourite because Carter's clean vocals finally have a chance to truly shine. Furthermore, the instrumentation is spectacular from start to finish and the interludes build anticipation – and the band comes through with a solid delivery after each break. "Castles In the Air" and "Youth Is Wasted On the Young" is another set of fairly impressive tracks. The former features a lot of melodic guitar work and is one of the most Hollow Crown-ish tracks on the album, while the latter is one of the slower tracks and mixes in a little bit of everything.
Lost Forever // Lost Together comes to a close with the five-minute "The Distant Blue" – which takes some time to get going before you're eventually hit with one of the heaviest, most crushing parts of the entire album. Though "The Distant Blue" does have some cool aspects, it drags on much too long and is fairly bland for a good portion of the song; because of that, I think Architects would have benefited from cutting the final two minutes of the last track.
Overall, considering Lost Forever // Lost Together is an 11-track release that only has two relatively weak tracks, it's definitely an improvement on the band's previous two releases. This is an album that you surely won't want to miss out on hearing when it releases on March 11 – especially if you're a fan of Hollow Crown-era Architects.