Architects – ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ review: metal titans test the limits

The Brighton's band ninth album is, improbably, a fresh start. With a cleaner sonic palette and orchestral flourishes, it's proof of their enduring creativity

Architects have spent a long time in the darkness. The Brighton metallers’ last three
albums, ‘Lost Together // Lost Forever’ (2015), ‘All Our Gods’ Have Abandoned Us’
(2017) and ‘Holy Hell’ (2019), cemented them as scene leaders, the best UK metal
band of a generation. But they were also a trilogy of bleak and visceral brutality that
attempted to come to terms with the cancer diagnosis of guitarist Tom Searle, his
sad death in 2016 and battling through the grief that followed.

In comparison, ninth album ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’, feels like a new start.
Drummer – and Tom’s twin brother – Dan recently told NME: “This was the record
where we decided to stop giving ourselves so many creative limitations and instead,
just be honest about what we wanted to create”. And that shows in the music.

In 2019, the band stepped up to headline Wembley Arena and this is an album clearly
written with enormous rooms in mind. Pulverising moments like ‘An Ordinary
Extinction’ and the monstrous ‘Goliath’, which features a frenzied turn from Biffy Clyro’s
Simon Neil, ensure it’s still heavy enough to sound like Architects, but the album
plays with a cinematic, melodic and cleaner palette that’s a million miles from their
techy metalcore beginnings.

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These moments are often the most startling. Architects have never before written a
song like ‘Flight Without Feathers’, which sees vocalist Sam Carter eschewing lung-
collapsing screams for a gentle vocal over blissful, weightless synths. Nor have they
recorded anything as openly anthemic as ‘Meteor’ or danceable as ’Little Wonder’,
which features a verse from Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, a long-time friend of the band.
But it’s the stunning ‘Dead Butterflies’, with its epic strings, soaring chorus and
Spielbergian sense of wonder that indicates all bets are off as to where
Architects could go next.

The album was due to be written in Australia, but the band were forced to
change their plans as a result of the country’s devastating bushfires, instead heading to Bali to write and record. A sense of helplessness runs throughout a record inspired by Mother Nature’s destructive force, as they ask questions rather than propose answers. On ‘Demi God’, which features amid Bond-style orchestration and the lyric, “I’ve been fast asleep standing still in a stampede / I must have forgot I’m a demi-God,” Carters asks why we all have the power to drive changes but more often than not opt for apathy.

‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ isn’t exactly the kind of sonic reinvention one-time
scene mates Bring Me The Horizon pulled off with 2019’s ‘Amo’, but it pushes
Architects into unexplored territory and a bold new future where even bigger
venues and audiences surely await.

Details

Release date: February 26

Record label: Epitaph

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