Architects – ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirit’

By Adam Rosario

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for Architects over the last few years. Following the loss of founder and main songwriter Tom Searle, the band has gone from the brink of extinction to an arena conquering behemoth. ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirit’ is their tenth record and seeks to consolidate their arena credentials and push them to the forefront of the conversation for first time festival headliners. 

The first single, ‘when we were young’ is one of the most polished songs of their career, and sets out their mission statement from the off. They’re not just a technical metalcore band anymore, and are a fully fledged metal giant, willing to expand their sound. Electronics aren’t new to the band, but on ‘when we were young’ it’s an example of their growth in their usage. Only appearing in the background of the chorus, it makes the song feel more expansive, showing a less is more mentality and has become a firm fan favourite already.

Drawing influence from Nine Inch Nails isn’t a new thing for Architects – it could be seen on the previous record in patches, but here, the band use industrial like beeps & blips to great effect. ‘deep fake’ starts with these building up before the riff kicks in and for an album opener, it’s a great start, referencing the evidence that mankind has given up on preserving the planet for future generations. Vocalist Sam Carter employs a whisper halfway through that sounds more menacing than most of the screams he’s used in the past. ‘tear gas’ continues this trajectory, with industrial influenced riffs before a radio friendly chorus that has a sing-song element. This makes it more memorable, feeling out of place whilst also making all the sense in the world. 

Of course there are riffs throughout the record, ‘living is killing us’ and ‘a new moral low ground’ are the real highlights, showing off the abilities of Josh Middleton & Adam Christianson. Dan Searle is an absolute powerhouse throughout, and with every record, has shown his dedication to improving as a drummer. Sam Carter famously said that he didn’t want to be known as the ‘blergh’ singer and this record makes it clear he’s not – instead delivering a vocal performance for the ages. His clean singing has improved whilst his screams are as recognisable as ever. 

The last three records have closed with a melancholic, introspective ballad. That formula is abandoned here with the brutal ‘be very afraid’. A blast of everything Architects are lauded for, having the potential to be their quintessential song. This is the third record released since the death of Tom and it looks set to be a career highlight. Architects look to have found the sound that suits them best and ‘classic symptoms of a broken spirit’ is the logical next step in their evolution. 

Overall, this is another instant classic and continues their run of incredible records. This is a band who deserve to be at the top of the festival bills and headlining the biggest arenas available. A record that will appeal to the radio audience worldwide and keep their current fan base happy. They are a group who have worked hard, sacrificed a lot and always stayed true to themselves. As we come to the business end of the year, album roundups are being drawn up, and this record makes a strong bid by adding to the best kind of headache a listener can have.  

ADAM ROSARIO

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