Written by: Alleen Hughes
Architects - ‘Holy Hell’
Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: November 9th, 2018
No other album this year will pull at your emotions more than Architects’ Holy Hell. This is the first album from the UK natives since the heartbreaking passing of founding guitarist Tom Searle in August 2016. Over the past two years, the band took time off to reflect what their next move would be, toured Europe and in the Fall of 2017 they took that monumental step into the studio for six months to create Holy Hell, the album they were uncertain would even see the light of day.
Wasting no time, Architects immediately start Holy Hell out with their true rawness they’ve always held onto. Throughout the year the band have been releasing singles such as “Hereafter”, “Modern Misery” and “Royal Beggars”, but the first single “Doomsday”, is the one that will always hold a special place in all of Architects’ fans hearts. This was the first introduction to the band’s new leading guitarist Josh Middleton and was a song that Tom Searle was unable to finish before his passing.
Throughout the years, Architects sound has had it’s fair share of changes. In tracks such as “Mortal After All” and “Damnation”, Architects keep the accompaniment of a synth but dial it back in this album and let the chugging guitar riffs take charge. The intensity of the bass paired with Sam’s thick and impeccable screams can be felt in your chest if listened to through the proper sound system. Each track is layered with lyrical depth and meaning so before I even reached the final three songs I felt overcome with emotions.
Although Architects intentions with this album were to provide a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s hard to not feel sorrow. All the pain you’ve tucked away about Tom’s death comes rushing to the surface with the album’s conclusion track “A Wasted Hymn”. You feel they’re hurting inside but at the same time can hear the strength this loss has given them in life and in their music. Together and through this tragedy they have all become inspirational musicians in my eyes.
This album will forever leave a mark on Architects’ fans. The band could have chose to close the door on the project but instead wanted to grieve with their fans and provide them with words of encouragement. Holy Hell is more than an album, it’s a source of comfort.
Death Is Not Defeat
Mortal After All
Dying To Heal
The Seventh Circle
A Wasted Hymn