Architects - The Here and Now
posted on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 @ 15:16 | permalinkFeatured here at PugwashNews.com, and in Issue 51 of the publication.
Review: Architects build towards change in The Here And Now
Architects- The Here and Now- Out Now
Blowing up on the metalcore scene in the past couple of years, The Here and Now is the latest offering from Brighton-based Architects. The follow up to 2009′s Hollow Crown (incidentally, one of my favourite albums of that year) seems to take quite a step away from its predecessor, notably less heavy and leaning more towards the post-hardcore than metal sound. In fact, at times it seems like a completely different band. Tracks such as Learn to Live showcase a more melodic sound that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Alexisonfire album, and as a whole the release is peppered with more clean vocals than would perhaps be expected of the band. The frantic riffs and agressive vocals still show up, particularly in Delete, Rewind, but the overall sound of the album seems lighter and much more polished than expected.
Not necessarily a bad thing, however – An Open Letter to Myself is a slow-burner in the same vein as the title track to Hollow Crown, showcasing vocalist Sam Carter’s improved singing and has the perfect build-up to do so. Heartburn is an anthemic ballad-esque track that strays even further into the softer side, and will divide opinion. Stay Young Forever features Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld and injects a frantic dose of crunch and agression. On the subject of guest vocals, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato pops up for closer Year In, Year Out/Up and Away, a seven and a half minute track which hits the nail on the head for mixing the heavy and melodic and throwing in all the elements of the album, and the band’s overall sound.
Fans of the heavier sound they’ve been accustomed to may be disappointed by the album, but at the same time, it has a more commercially accessible vibe which will undoubtedly draw in some new listeners. It’ll definitely divide opinion – some will accuse the band of purposely taking a more commercial direction, others applaud for blowing new life into the often-tired metalcore genre. With a few songs feeling slightly same-y, and a feel that there’s something missing, it doesn’t quite stand up against the band’s previous releases. However, taking it as a standalone, it’s a strong album that provides an enjoyable and relatively diverse listen and a few outstanding tracks.