F U L L . R E V I E W S
All Is Not Lost
Company: Black Market Activities
Reviewer: David Loveless
Ready to destroy the metal world with their political brand of hardcore
For the past 5 years or so, I have been thoroughly disappointed with the hardcore scene. Although there have been mediocre-at-best releases by bands such as Madball, Throwdown, and Hatebreed, they have all lacked that extraordinary intensity that can be found on such albums as Coalesce's "Give Them Rope" (1998), Integrity 2000's eponymous 1999 release, In Cold Blood's "Hell On Earth" (1998), and Buried Alive's "Death Of Your Perfect World" (1999). Fortunately, Syracuse, NY based Architect have come along to save the hardcore scene! With a brutal intensity that matches (and even surpasses) the latter CD's that I mentioned, Architect is ready to destroy the metal world with their political brand of hardcore metal. Some may think that All Is Not Lost is a little on the light side - as it clocks in at just over 30 minutes long. However, one complete listen will leave you drenched in sweat, exhausted, and ready to punch someone’s face in.
The album opener, The Awakening, starts with a creepy ambient intro then suddenly explodes into a terrifying breakdown complemented by Keith Allen's sickening screams. One thing that immediately sets Architect apart from the rest of the hardcore scene is that the guitar tone is extremely heavy and stands out very loud in the production mix - creating a brutal atmosphere that will appeal to hardcore and extreme death metal fans. Without a break in between songs, Sic Semper Tyrannis blast through the speakers with an intensity that use to be displayed by classic Dillinger Escape Plan. Although the song is just over two minutes long, they manage to squeeze in enough hardcore to punish the masses while also throwing in a little bit of classic Voivod influence. After a short 11 second interlude simply titled "11", Architect breaks into the ultra heavy Trepanning For Oil. Although a bit slower than the first couple of songs, it is no less intense. Following is another interlude titled "13". Yep, you've guessed it - it is 13 seconds long. However, there is no rest for the wicked as Hell Of The Upsidedown Sinners kicks in. If this song does not get you going, then you have no business listening to metal! The next song, The End Of It, is filled with massive breakdowns, ear piercing screams, and low end riffs to keep you in a violent mood. Although the song is just one and a half minutes, I'm sure you will find time to destroy something in that short period of time. Rolling right into Collapse The War Engine, Architect continues the break-neck pace of ultra hardcore brutality. Next comes the last break in the action called "33". Yep, its exactly 33 seconds long, but what follows after that will make your skin crawl! Broke Dick Dog is without a doubt the sickest song on the CD. Although the main riff is slow, it is very low-end, and deafening. This song must be played at the highest possible volumes to get the full relentless effect. Although the final song on the CD, The Giving Tree, shares the same name of the famous children’s book written by the late Shel Silverstein, it is definitely not for children or the weak at heart. This mammoth 8 minute song, starts off slow and quiet, but
ultimately turns into a violent anthem for oblivion.
The bottom line is, you do not have to be a fan of hardcore to like Architect. To these ears, they are more metal than hardcore, but their roots in the hardcore scene must not be denied. If you are tired of the large amounts of lackluster hardcore metal that has been released these days then do your ears (and fists) a favor by checking out All Is Not Lost by Architect.
About this Writer:
David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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