Imagine spending nearly two decades paying your dues in the depths of Britain’s underground metalcore scene, only to ascend to unchartered territory for a straight-up heavy metal act, headlining arenas and charting in the UK Top 20 following the death of your principal songwriter and founding member. It would break through the barriers of even the bravest of bands and hang them out to dry.
For Architects, they’ve lived to tell the tale, and on their first album without any involvement from their late guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle, they’ve ventured down the road less travelled, embracing an industrial wonderland of glitchy synths, soul-crushingly solemn lo-fi, and brain haemorrhaging breakdowns that bleed their heavy metal roots into their most accessible album yet.
‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ occupies the soundscapes ’Holy Hell’ wasn’t confident enough to conquer. ‘Discourse Is Dead’ dances around ‘Take To The Skies’-era Enter Shikari, as pulverising post-hardcore pits itself against vehemently exhilarating electronicore whilst the ‘Mike from Royal Blood’-featuring’ Little Wonder’ flirts apoplectically with ‘That’s The Spirit’ era Bring Me The Horizon, as much an alt-metal anthem as it is a call to the mainstream arms.
On lead single ‘Animals’, they venture into a post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland that is as reminiscent of the synthpunk noise-rock of HEALTH as it is an anthemic alt-pop extravaganza; meanwhile the goosebump-inducing string-laden lo-fi dream-pop of closer ‘Dying Is Absolutely Safe’ will leave you in tears.
Whilst musically it’s a melting pot of never-ending influences, ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ is the sound of Architects navigating a lyrical labyrinth of moral compasses. Their longtime association with inspiring change in relation to our earth’s ever-growing environmental issues is omnipresent here, however, it’s imbued with conflicting concepts as they question whether we can be hopeful of our generation or bury ourselves in despair for those that follow. They may be wrestling with hope; however, it ultimately gives way to despair, as Carter screams on ‘Black Lungs’: “When will we wrestle the world from the fools and their gold, and their fucking covenant?”
If ‘Holy Hell’ was Architects shining a spotlight on their story so far, ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ is their magnum opus. This is the sound of Architects once again ascending the ladder on their journey to becoming the scene leaders of British heavy metal.