Architects – Modern Misery
Central to this is Tom’s twin brother, Dan. Referring to the record as a contemplative study in pain, the drummer has processed the loss of his closest relation while steering the band they started together back from the precipice. The inherent power and honesty in that bleeds from lyrics like, ‘We’re all refusing to feel and yet we’re dying to heal,’ (Dying To Heal), and right through the dark ferocity of 108-second explosion that is The Seventh Circle.
Significant credit is also due to new guitarist Josh Middleton. The Sylosis frontman – Architects’ longstanding friend – has integrated immediately, jump-starting a creative revival while bringing his trademark serrated edge to their sound.
Holy Hell isn’t a one-way misery trip, though. There are seething undertones of sociopolitical frustration about Royal Beggars that suggest personal loss hasn’t blinded these avowed activists to wider societal ills. Doomsday, meanwhile, combines lyrical fragments left by Tom with an instrumental composition that exudes something like acceptance. Perhaps most poignantly, the album’s closing track, A Wasted Hymn, hints at glints of hope on the horizon: a brief segment of Tom’s guitar-work stressing the belief in a better tomorrow without expunging the scars of the past.
It’s a daring final statement from an album that’s by turns gut-wrenching, hauntingly desolate and emotionally devastating. It’s also one that demands end-to-end attention to impart its most poignant lesson: the only way out is through.
Words: Sam Law
Architects' Holy Hell is available now through Epitaph Records. Check it out in full via the stream below.