Architects — For Those That Wish to Exist — Album Review

Nu-Metal | Metalcore

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The Brighton-based metalcore band known as Architects have always held a special place in my heart. With the first ever gig I went to being their show at The Haunt, as part of their album release tour for 2014’s Lost Forever // Lost Together, I have had the pleasure to see them play live multiple times since.

In everything that the band had released since, mark various points in a very emotional journey for fans, as well as the band themselves. With ex-guitarist Tom Searle losing a battle to cancer, a few months the release of their 2016 album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, the band channeled their grievance into their music, and namely their following album, 2018’s Holy Hell, which was dedicated to Tom.

But over the past few years, there has always been a tiny dialema with how I feel with the music put out by Architects. It isn’t that gargantuan of an issue, but it definitely sticks out as a unique one; I feel that in recent memory, Architects have been sticking to a formula of sorts that makes a lot of their tracks sound quite similar. Particularly in terms of pacing, tracks like “Downfall”, “A Match Made In Heaven”, “Hereafter”, and “Doomsday”, especially have a sense of familiarity, that have me thinking “Haven’t I heard this one before?”

Furthermore, I feel that musically, some Architects songs do seem to re-use certain techniques and elements. All of this ultimately has me super-hyped for everything the band put out upon first listen, but ultimately having more stale feelings towards quite a few of the tracks as they age.

What this all meant for me, was that I definitely wanted to see the band bring us a more fresh and unique sound, either by pushing the experimental boat out, or simply return to the days of upping the ante. We ultimately seemed to get a little bit of both with their newest album, For Those That Wish to Exist.

From the moment that Architects teased their ninth studio album with “Animals”, back in October of last year, my hopes skyrocketed! The pacing, aggression, and subtle electronic loops in the chorus, made “Animals” feel like a precursor towards the kind of Architects album I have been dreaming of.

The sense of promised was renewed with the release of “Black Lungs” which arrived in December of 2020. Once again, the hard-hitting nature and pacing of this track, made “Black Lungs” an incredible listen.

I think it may have been the teasers of 2021, however, that had my high-hopes waver ever so slightly. While I loved “Dead Butterflies” for its inclusion of brass instrumentation and almost regal feel, it saw Architects once again return to that all-too-familiar tempo, which I think does detract slightly from the overall beauty this track has to offer.

As for “Meteor”, the final teaser for For Those That Wish to Exist, it displayed the other side of the issue I’ve had with some Architects tunes, in which the melodic and compositional side of the track felt quite stale, and had me feeling like they could’ve added more to it. If any of the teaser tracks actually made me more anxious about this albums release, it would unfortunately be this one.

And with that, everything negative I have to say about For Those That Wish to Exist is well and truly over. The sheer amount of what this new album has to offer is absolutely mind-blowing.

It’s hard to know where to even begin with writing about what I love on this album, but I deem it most likely best to start off with the tracks. There are just so many bangers on this thing, that actually have an amazing sense of versatility and memorability to them, that I remember just thinking after the first listen “What even are my favourite tracks? There’s so many of them!”

By blending a lot of these new tracks with classical elements of strings and brass, For Those That Wish to Exist carries a very strong aesthetic, which I feel reflects the overall theme of peoples fears towards being unable to “truly live” surrounding the pandemic and lockdown. It also feels quite reminiscent of albums like Parkway Drive’s 2018 effort Reverence, which to this day, is an album that leaves me in awe.

Speaking of Parkway Drive, that band’s frontman Winston McCall makes an appearance as a featured artist on For Those That Wish to Exist, along with others like Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil. All of these lead singers did an incredible job on this record, and seeing how they all paired with a band like Architects was a true treat to behold.

And lastly, but most importantly, I feel that For Those That Wish to Exist really captured the essence of what made Lost Forever // Lost Together such an incredible project for me. With an almost astral sense of passionate frustration, this album truly feels special.

With its versatility and enjoyment, I firmly believe that For Those That Wish to Exist is exactly the kind of album this band needed amongst such an extensive discography.

Favourite Tracks: Discourse Is Dead | Impermanence | Animals

Least Favourite Track: Meteor

Epitaph

Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 9/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 9/10 | Narrative: 9/10

Final Score: 9/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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