28 May 2012
by Raziq Rauf
After 2011’s ambitious but slightly unfulfilling The Here And Now, the UK’s premier tech metallers, Architects are back already with their fifth album, Daybreaker. And it’s really fucking good.
After the discordant chimed beginnings of opening song, ‘The Bitter End’, the album builds and builds until the jarring siren riffs of ‘Alpha Omega’ make me want to learn some sort of martial art – maybe all the martial arts – just so I can roundhouse dropkick a tree. With my head. Every day.
It’s the kind of song that makes you visualise a moshpit wherever you are. If you’re on the bus and this song comes on your iPod, you’re going to start shoving people around until either a) they “open it up” and join in the mosh or b) you get very, very arrested. The fact the song’s balanced with the kind of vocals that you might need a lot of singing lessons in order to join in with makes it all the better. There’s more to come like this on Daybreaker.
With guitarist Tim Hillier-Brook leaving the band soon after the release date was announced, however, it allows us to notice that this is the sound of a bunch of guys who really, rly hate each other. Sam Carter spits his lines like a man who despises his now former guitarist. Even Carter’s clean vocals have the power and precision of a man focusing an imaginary sniper rifle on a colleague – something that wasn’t quite there on The Here And Now.
Obviously, I’m just taking the piss. There’s no drama in this band – nowhere nearly as much as has been painted by some, anyway. Regardless, drummer Dan Searle sounds like he’s hitting that snare as if it’s got Hillier-Brook’s face printed on it. There’s a crisp violence that permeates this whole album, tempered by calmer moments, such as the extended rising jam in ‘Truth, Be Told’. Even Tim HB’s guitar work sounds like he hates himself. Or maybe he hates his bandmates. It’s very obvious, either way.
The thunder of ‘These Colours Don’t Run’, with an excellent “BLEH!” from a furious-sounding Carter a couple of minutes in, the four minutes of relaxed pseudo-electronica of ‘Behind The Throne’ and the pounding staccato guitars of ‘Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat’ are just more highlights from this excellent album.
There are only a couple of moments that you wonder if they should have been included on the album – ‘Devil’s Island’ isn’t the greatest, for instance, but was the lead single nonetheless. It’s not quite the unrelenting fury of Ruin but nowhere near as watered-down as The Here And Now. Daybreaker is a bold return from Architects, reaffirming their position in the UK metal scene. That’s a good thing.
Sounds like: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Architects, a band in no strife at all.
Top track: Alpha, Omega.