Sam Carter – vocals
Tom Searle – guitar
Alex Dean – bass
Dan Searle – drums
Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together
3. Broken Cross
4. The Devil is Near
5. Dead Man Talking
6. Red Hypergiant
8. Colony Collapse
9. Castles in the Air
10. Youth is Wasted On the Young [feat. Murray Macleod]
11. The Distant Blue
Running time: 43:01
Lost Forever // Lost Together is album number six from Architects, a band that has been prominent in the metalcore genre since their formation in 2004. It's been a prolific career for the band, and one that has made them mainstays of a genre. The metalcore genre, incidentally, is one that has stagnated over the last few years with acts sticking to a trademark sound without really taking any risks. In 2014, things have begun to change. In January Of Mice and Men released Restoring Force, an album of monumental power and might that grabbed the genre but the scruff of the neck and forced people to pay attention. Last month Issues released their debut album crammed with infectious melodies and far-reaching influences that once again made people stand up and take notice. This month it's the turn of Architects, a band that has a tumultuous time of it in recent years. Recent offerings have received significant critical acclaim but been panned by the band's fan base. The band's previous record saw them change up their lyrical style to tackle the vast world of politics and then just last year the band parted ways with their record label.
Lost Forever // Lost Together was recorded throughout 2013 in between and during tours. It was a process that completely exhausted the band, leading to them ending a tour early towards the back end of last year. But the band has been determined to get back to business, and return to their heavier routes and that's the first thing you notice about the new album. Fewer and further between are the melodic moments prominent on The Here and Now, a record that the band has described as “a car crash.” There's a much more organic feel about this record, with the band baring in mind live settings whilst in recording session. Opener “Gravedigger” is certainly an eye-opener, as singer Sam Carter ensures you're paying attention from the get-go. It's heavy, it's in your face and it's unrelenting. In short, it's everything fans will want from a new Architects record.
After messing fans around with the more straight forward rock approach of The Here and Now and the politically-heavy previous album Daybreaker, the band returns to what it does best – tearing your damn face off through the medium of music. Lead single “Naysayer” incorporates blast beats – a tactic not yet used by the band, to the best of my knowledge – and relentlessly pounds on the door of good taste like a roided up big bad wold devouring a litter of little piggies. A common occurrence of the record is an onslaught of uncompromising riffs, and that's certainly a key feature on “Naysayer.” What's impressive is the way each riffs seamlessly merges into the next, like an unrelenting tide crashing against Britain's south coast and wrecking havoc on its waterfront. Sam Carter limits his clean vocal throughout, and now when he does put it to use, it becomes much more effective. His unclean vocal therefore takes center stage, and that's something that will appease fans. “Broken Cross” is the perfect example of the two co-existing to good effect.
What Lost Forever // Lost Together has in energy however, it lacks in progression and innovation. Even in the record's tastier tracks, there's a heavy reliance on these absurd breakdowns that have plagued the metalcore genre for years. It's a case of been there, done that. Without the melodic, almost sickly sweet balladry of The Here and Now, there is nothing to break the monotony of the assault. Architects are a proven technically gifted outfit but more often than not the band opts to remain inside it's comfort zone, continuing to batter the senses with venomous consequences. The drums are frantic throughout, but it's a scattered approach. The guitar work is brutal at times and delivered with an unerring precision but at times it's almost too tight – as if the band was afraid of taking a risk. Of course, that's not necessarily the worst move they could have made. It was necessarily a home run that Architects needed with this album, it was a reassuring effort to let their fans known that they are back on the right track. However, six albums in and you have to wonder if Architects should have already hit their stride by now.
Architects - “Naysayer”
The 411: After two albums that disappointed for various reasons, Lost Forever // Lost Together was perhaps the exact album that the band needed to deliver. On album number six, Architects return to their trademark heavy sound and they make sure at no point in the record's 40-minute running time do they take their foot off the accelerator. At times this makes for a ball-busting album of epic proportions, at others it causes them to go devastatingly into a brick wall, stopping the record's momentum dead. The band has found a reassuring middle ground between a well-produced record and one that comes across as organic, appealing to its fan base. But in playing it relatively safe, Architects have made a record that is almost instantly disposable and likely will not stand the test of time. When the metalcore genre is need of numerous shots in the arm, on this evidence Architects is not the band people will turn to and you have to wonder if the band hasn't already missed its opportunity.