There is no heavy metal band in the UK that is as big and as consistently heavy as the Brighton based 5 piece known as Architects. Since the release of their 6th studio album Lost Forever // Lost Together, the band have become a heavy metal force to be reckoned with thanks to such songs as Naysayer, Gravedigger and Broken Cross. Their seventh album would maintain Architects popularity thanks to the colossal tracks; A Match Made In Heaven and Gone With The Wind. However, but the band was soon struck by tragedy when their guitarist and principal songwriter, Tom Searle died after a three year battle with skin cancer. The surviving members would beautifully continue his legacy by fully developing an unfinished song of Tom’s titled Doomsday, accompanied by the masterpiece of an album that is Holy Hell. Now in 2021, the British kings of heavy metal are back with their 9th studio album For Those Who Wish To Exist (FTWWTE).
The album opens on a hauntingly beautiful intro track titled ‘Do You Dream of Armageddon?’ This track establishes the theatrical and rather tone the album takes, whilst simultaneously hyping us up for the explosive single, ’Black Lung.’ The first of many metalcore anthems FTWWTE boasts, Black Lung is a new concert staple in the making that demonstrates frontman Sam Carter’s vocal range, whilst also establishing the albums focus on singing as opposed to Carter’s signature scream.
Siren like guitars signal the beginning of my personal favourite track off FTWWTE which is ‘Giving Blood.’ The song is yet another metalcore anthem, however its bridge showcases Architects more ethereal sound that makes several more appearances to come. For Those Who Wish To Exist has a very strong start that sets up hope for the rest of the album to come.
‘Discourse Is Dead’ maintains the albums strong and energetic opening as the band return to their usual screamo sound, but only for the verses as Carter beautifully and melodically sings the chorus, making ‘Discourse is Dead’ a song you can both mosh and sway along to. The crowd will be an interesting thing to behold once concerts resume and this song is played.
Architects flare for the dramatic is perfectly demonstrated in ‘Dead Butterflies.’ A lot softer than their usual sound, ‘Dead Butterflies’ feels like Architects version of a power metal ballad of sorts. Either way it’s an evolutionary step forward for the band that also proves they can also stay true to who they are as a band.
The album is cranked back up to 11 with yet another metalcore anthem with ‘An Ordinary Extinction.’ Carter’s vocal range and the organized chaos of guitars make ‘An Ordinary Extinction’ a highlight of FTWWTE, whilst also proving why Architects are one of the UK’s leading metal bands. ‘Impermanence’ follows and heavy metal fans will rejoice when Parkway Drive’s frontman, Winston McCall, makes an appearance before a satisfying breakdown.
Despite FTWWTE’s tonal exploration, ‘Fight Without Feathers’ is a bit jarring considering it follows on from perhaps the albums heaviest song. ‘Fight Without Feathers’ is very different from the rest of the album with its soft ethereal electronic song. This may be to Architects what Follow You was to Bring Me The Horizon, however I personally feel the song is misplaced in the album and falls into the category of indifferent album filler songs.
Fortunately, with the help of Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, the band bring the album back with an energetic mosh pit anthem ‘Little Wonder.’ Although if you blink you could miss Mike Kerr, I couldn’t distinguish him from Sam Carter on first listen, nonetheless Little Wonder is one of the best songs the album has to offer and suggests Architects may be taking a similar creative journey as Bring Me The Horizon.
Following on is the albums lead single ‘Animals’ and to call the track a head banger would be an understatement. As heavy as it is catchy, ‘Animals’ is arguably the best song on the album and the best choice for lead single, plus the breakdown is simply incredible.
Libertine is next and despite sounding like a song off All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, it still feels like something is missing, and that something is what would help distinguish this song from the rest.
‘Goliath’ is next and with a name like that you have to expect big things, like Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro metal screaming for example. Fortunately, ‘Goliath’ has just that and is generally epic in every other aspect.
For Those Who Wish To Exist draws close to its end with the heavy slow tempo ‘Demi God.’ Personally, the slow tempo heavy metal doesn’t work for, however as the song shifts about midway I begin to enjoy the experimental orchestral arrangements the song closes on.
The penultimate song, ‘Meteor’, wastes no time at all as it explodes into your eardrums. With its triumphantly heavy sound, catchy chorus and melodramatic crescendo, Architects look to end their album with a bang and if this was the final song, what an end it would’ve been.
Surprisingly however, the album doesn’t end there, instead it ends on an acoustic ballad titled ‘Dying is Absolutely Safe.’ The song brings the album to a dramatically emotional close with its string section, piano melody and Sam Carter’s unconventionally soft vocals. Starting sombre and closing rather hopeful, ‘Dying is Absolutely Safe’ is a dramatic end to a dramatic album, even if Meteor would have equally made a fitting final song.
Overall, For Those Who Wish To Exist finds Architects at their most palatable. Featuring a range of orchestral instruments and a greater vocal range on display from Sam Carter, FTWWTE traverses a range of emotions to varying degrees of success. Although generally softer than anything Architects has done before, the band hasn’t lost sight of what makes them unique as they naturally evolve with each new album. It’s not the masterpiece that Holy Hell was; however, For Those Who Wish To Exist has enough metal anthems and instrumental grandeur to satisfy fans and potentially get Architects their first UK number 1.
For Those Who Wish To Exist is OUT NOW and reached Number 1 in the UK Charts