Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist
Released: February 26, 2021
Sam Carter // Vocals
Adam Christianson // Rhythm Guitar
Ali Dean // Bass
Dan Searle // Drums
Josh Middleton // Lead Guitar
Welcome to the dawn of a new Architects era. I remember seeing somewhere not too long ago, the boys stating that their trilogy of albums, beginning with Lost Together // Lost Forever, followed by All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us and concluding with Holy Hell would be the last covering the emotionally driven themes surrounding pain, loss and grief (Tom Searle Forever) and this new album would shift the band’s focus onto save the world around us.
Drummer Dan Searle stated upon writing this record, he was thinking about “the part we are all playing in the world’s slow destruction” and that he wanted to “tackle the biggest questions facing the future of our planet”. When you think about what they’re trying to achieve with that message, it makes this album so much more important. That’s the mentality I took going into this review and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking “how can a band from Brighton in the UK make a difference through their music..?” Well, let’s find out, shall we!
‘Do You Dream of Armageddon?‘ kicks off the festivities with a string section and synth sound (akin to that of your nightly news program) prior to Sam Carter‘s voice chiming in with the alluring message of ‘No tree can go to heaven, ’til its roots reach down to hell’. Upon researching this, I found that it was a quote by Swiss psychologist/religious historian Carl Gustav Jung, taken from his book Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self which discusses the relations between psychology, alchemy and religion. You know me, I’m a sucker for thought-provoking topics and being an openly anti-religion person, it just made me eager to get this album underway and see what angle they took with it. The song is beautiful and I can see the guys walking out on stage to this when gigs come back to us… hopefully soon! ‘Black Lungs‘ is next and if you haven’t heard this yet, you really do need to reevaluate your life choices! The guitars and drum combination just make this an excellent radio rock jam (too heavy for mainstream still), but not heavy to draw in new ears who haven’t heard Architects before and get them thinking about the world around them, especially when Sam asks the question ‘What would you do to stay alive if the planet was burning?’
This is the first of many tracks in which the band can’t stress the importance of changing our lifestyles to save the planet and one that has been stuck in the back of my mind since the day it was released. You’ve seen the “act now” advertisements on tv, now there’s a theme song for those messages and it’s supplied by Architects. Listen to this song, over and over and over again until the message sinks in, then start your change for a better life.
‘Giving Blood‘ keeps the tempo flowing at a similar pace with an eerie guitar riff sounding like a panic alarm drawing us into Dan Searle‘s eccentric drumming which takes the spotlight for the entire duration of the song. I can’t help but think this is somewhat of a new style for Architects. As I sit here trying to compare it to other tracks of theirs, I’m drawing a blank, and I’m not sure whether I love it or just like it yet. ‘Discourse Is Dead‘ sounded absolutely, positively fucking amazing during their Live at the Royal Albert Hall live stream (my review here) and I’ve been waiting to hear a studio version of this song. Now that it’s here, I can see why and how this one would go off in a live stadium setting, which I foresee these lads heading towards in the not too distant future. Do you like screams, chuggy riffs and a melodic sing-a-long chorus? Then this’ll be your new fav in no time. Talking about stadium settings, with its brass and string section, Dan’s drumming and Sam’s angelic vocals, ‘Dead Butterflies‘ is going to go fucking offffffff when these guys get to play big ass shows around the world. If there was ever a song that could rival ‘Doomsday‘ for a show closer, this would come within a bee’s dick of taking that spot. Blasphemy I know, but this is how you go from being one of the BEST metalcore acts in the world, to becoming a world-class collection of musicians guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on the population. ‘An Ordinary Extinction‘ gives lead guitarist Josh Middleton some much-needed attention as he brings us in with a chuggy guitar playthrough that’ll please the metalcore followers and the heavy metal elitists. If you’ve heard what Josh is capable of in his own band Sylosis, then you can get an idea of what you’re in for with this one, especially when you add the ferocity of what Architects do best when Sam Carter is screaming his lungs out at you.
I gotta tell you a quick story about ‘Impermanence‘. I was laying in bed listening to this album after unwinding with a joint before bed. I wasn’t aware of the name of the song that was playing, but when a certain frontman of a little band from Byron Bay started screaming, I gasped, threw myself up (along with my phone) and quickly looked to make sure my ears were hearing what they were hearing. This isn’t an over-exaggeration of any sort, but this song is fucking HUUUUUUGE.
It kicks off sounding like a typical Architects song, during the middle Sam’s screams are rough as guts, yet totally crisp and then out of nowhere Winston McCall appears from the shadows, bellowing ‘DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LIVE FOREVERRRRR, CUZ THOSE AFRAID TO DIE WILL NEVER TRULY LIVE’ which then heads into a filthy-as-fuck breakdown that’ll bring out the best kind of gurn inside you. From there, we’re left with a climax that feels like a part Architects, part Parkway-esque heavy metal anthem that’ll leave you feeling like
From one EPIC extreme with ‘Impermanence‘ to slowing things right down for ‘Flight Without Feathers‘, this atmospheric song showcases the band handy work with synth, EDM sounds/beats and Sam Carter‘s soft and alluring vocal performance. At first, I didn’t rate this one, but after going back and giving it a few spins, I can see the importance of having it positioned where it was because it serves as the transitional song that leads us into the EDM/synth-driven, almost “radio-friendly” rock belter ‘Little Wonder‘ (featuring Mike Kerr of Royal Blood).
Now before you get on your high horse and say “errrr they’re just selling out now, they’ve changed,” you need to stop, compose yourself and give the lyrics to this one a proper listen. Sam explains what this self-aware song is about through the lyrics as he belts out ‘I wanna sing you a different song, one that’s easier to swallow / we can dance, we can all sing along / we can say how we don’t wanna be safe / but it’s easier to follow’. Still lost? It’s a call-to-arms anthem about working together and accepting that if we don’t, then we’ve got what’s coming to us. The evidence surrounding climate change is real and it’s up to you to stop burying your head in the sand thinking everything is going to be okay. This statement is echoed with the repeating vocals of ‘everything is fine / everything is fine / everything is fine’ which to me, ascertains this track is directed at those who remain oblivious to what’s going on around them. You have to admit, when a band does something different musically, it gets fans’ attention, right? Well, this sounds nothing like anything in Architects‘ back catalogue and it’s going to get elitists talking. I just hope they listen to what’s being sung more so than focusing on the instrumentals behind the words. And for those who just like heavy songs with breakdowns, Sam screams his lungs out on this one for ya!
‘Animals‘ is next and if you haven’t figured out the reverse poem at the start yet (here you go). This was my 2020 Song of the Year for many reasons. The layers. The vocals and lyrics. The Rammstein-esque drumming and riffs. The china cymbal. The sirens and synth. EVERYTHING. ‘Animals‘ was the best way this band could announce their next era and I’m still in awe that they surprised dropped it in October and completely blew up the internet in the process. ‘Libertine‘ follows and fuckkkkkkkk what an opening. You wanted screams, you got them! Fun Fact: A libertine is someone who lacks moral principles and responsibility because consider them unnecessary or undesirable, and when you go into this track with that knowledge in the back of your mind, it’ll make it easier to understand what it’s all about. But, I’ll leave that for you to uncover for yourself. ‘Goliath‘ sees the band joined by Biffy Clyro‘s Simon Neil, and it’s a match made in heaven (pun intended) because his iconic voice bounces off Sam’s before blast beats and heavy riffs sound off around them and for a short moment, I feel like I’ve momentarily found nirvana. Then Simon screams and goddamn it’s goooood.
‘Demi God‘ begins with a recording of chatter from within the studio and upon getting into the instrumentals, it’s easy to see where this would fit in the band’s previously released albums. It’s got that anthemic rock vibe to it which compliments Dan Searle‘s drumming and the string section towards the climax. While this may be hit or miss for some fans, the lyrics are poetic AF and well worthy of your approval ‘a glass half empty is more than I’ll ever have / cuz I’ve been fast asleep standing still in a stampede / I’m breaking my back but I’m still sinking like a stone’. “Insert Chef’s kiss Here.” In comes ‘Meteor‘ which lyrically sounds like it reflects the current state of the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the UK where their leaders have no clue WTF they’re doing, still! As Sam sings ‘Another God on the radio / Says we’re stuck in a tailspin / The pilots have vertigo / They’re lost in the undertow / The arrow buckles in the bow’, I can’t help but imagine the incompetent leaders trying to navigate their way out of the disaster, but all their plans come to a grounding halt, which is exactly what’s happened over that way. ‘Dying Is Absolutely Safe‘, much like ‘A Wasted Hymn‘ from Holy Hell, starts with an acoustic guitar and strings taking us up to Sam’s lullaby-styled vocals which are predominant throughout the track, until the final climax in which Dan’s snare drumming is combined with rising synth, a choir and that string section once again complimenting Sam’s performance. This is definitely the album closer. It leaves you wanting more and I found myself playing it over and over again just to hear and feel it because it’s emotive, moving and shows just how forward-thinking this band are. How do you top your last album’s closing track? By upping the ante ten-fold and delivering something that listeners will remember for years to come.
To me, the purpose of For Those That Wish To Exist is for the listener to sit on what’s being sung/screamed at them and for it to sink in overtime. Sure, you’re not going to get up and become a planet warrior overnight, but I feel by listening to this album over and over again, you’ll subliminally be listening to what Architects are educating us about through their heavy, soothing and beautifully crafted music. From there, you can take your life into your own hands and play your part… but you better hurry up.
Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist tracklisting
1. Do You Dream of Armageddon?
2. Black Lungs
3. Giving Blood
4. Discourse Is Dead
5. Dead Butterflies
6. An Ordinary Extinction
7. Impermanence ft. Winston McCall (Parkway Drive)
8. Flight Without Feathers
9. Little Wonder ft. Mike Kerr (Royal Blood)
12. Goliath ft. Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro)
13. Demi God
15. Dying Is Absolutely Safe