Able to hold its own and stand toe to toe with its predecessor
Brighton's Architects put out one of my favorite albums of 2014 with "Lost Forever//Lost Together" and I've been anxiously awaiting their follow up to that stellar album. "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" delivers all that I had hoped for and more.
Opening track "Nihilist" shows that Architects has no intention of slowing things down. Aggressive, angry and powerful, it's a fantastic opener with some of Sam Carter's best vocals so far and a really wicked riff behind him. The chorus of this track is so damned catchy that it's frightening. As the beginning to "Deathwish" builds, it leads in to a slightly subdued song that still packs some really solid weight behind it, with Carter's signature "Blegh" highlighting the track at several different points. "Phantom Fear" is up next and is hands down my favorite track on the album. The opening riff is some of Tom Searle's best fretwork; a distorted, noodly riff that meanders around and is backed some thunderous drumming by brother Dan Searle and bassist Alex Dean's stellar rhythm work. Carter's vocals on this one really add some depth to the song with the chorus wrapping this thing up in a wicked bow. "Downfall" and "Gone With The Wind" slow things down a little more with a bit more emphasis happening on the programming side of things while still packing that punch that is ever-present. "The Empty Hourglass" really amps up the presence of the sampling with a subtly, subdued riff layered underneath and some rapid-fire drumming. "A Match Made In Heaven" brings back the heavy factor with Tom Searle doing some fancy picking to start it out and then kicking in to full-on groove mode. Carter's vocals seem really emotive and vitriolic at times on this track, wavering between pure anger and almost plaintive pleading.
"Gravity", "All Love Is Lost" and "From The Wilderness" kind of return to the sample-heavy beginnings with the heaviness filtering in throughout the duration of the song, all-the-while Sam Carter is still delivering his consistently solid vocals. "Memento Mori", the closing track of the album, starts off with a soundbyte and some heavy sampling while possessing a bit more subdued pace throughout the first half of the song. At about the 4 minute mark the heaviness amps up a little before moving back to the programming heavy sound, with bits of the soundbytes sprinkled in throughout. As closers go, I feel like this one kind of ended the album on a bit of a letdown as the intensity really wasn't there that was showcased throughout most of the album. I feel like bonus track "Silver Bullet" would have been a much more opportuned way to close the album out with "Memento Mori" being provided as the bonus track. "Silver Bullet" matches the intensity of "Nihilist" and combines all the elements of Architects sound brilliantly.
The production on this album was really clear, as I've come to expect from most of Architects' albums with no real blips present at all. Following up an album that received as much acclaim and love from the metal world is never an easy task for a band. Some bands aren't able to continue the rise and capture that emotion on the next album but Architects shows that they are more than capable of delivering another quality album that will be able to hold its own and stand toe to toe with its predecessor.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details