After the passing of their primary songwriter and guitarist, Tom Searle, Architects have created a brand new album titled ‘Holy Hell’. While ‘Holy Hell’ sounds heavenly, the album chronicles the band’s experiences with grief and the death of their beloved bandmate. While their previous album ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ had some atheistic themes, ‘Holy Hell’ seems to offer new hope, referencing God in a better light. The concept of grieving encompasses the album and gives the audience a chance to truly connect with the band because everyone has to go through grief at some point.
While Architects’ sound has changed over the years, ‘Holy Hell’ sounds very similar to their previous album ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’. While they are still using a pinch of synth in their tracks, an orchestra is featured in several songs which brings a nice bit of levity to the down-tuned chugging guitars. The breakdowns throughout the album are pretty brutal with a lot of crash cymbals syncopated with double kick. Catchy choruses and riffs are sprinkled throughout the album along with a heavy mix of clean vocals and pained screams.
The riff at the beginning of the third track, “Mortal After All,” is one of the catchiest riffs on the album and the riff continues throughout the song. The song is so good I have already used it as an alarm clock.
The lyrics on the track ‘Holy Hell’ are insanely poetic. Once you hear the music over the lyrics, it makes the song that much better. Here is a small excerpt of the lyrics off ‘Holy Hell’.
“There is a holy hell where we can save ourselves
But now the rivers are running red
And the stars have been set ablaze
I’ve been feeling the worst again
Have you been longing over yesterday
Don’t forget to break when the lies begin to crash from the suffering
It’s not that hard to see
We get one chance
These words will set me free”
The heaviest track of the album “The Seventh Circle” comes before Architects’ first single “Doomsday,” which was the first song written after Tom Searle’s passing. The transition between “The Seventh Circle” and “Doomsday” is one of my favourites on the album. Even though Tom wrote a good portion of “Doomsday” and some of his actual guitar tracks made it into the song, the rest of the album was written without him.
Architects released the first single “Doomsday” back in September of 2017 and didn’t release another single for over a year. In the span of a month and a half, “Hereafter, Royal Beggars”, and “Modern Misery” were released to promote the upcoming album. Typically, singles represent some of the best songs on the album, but almost every song on ‘Holy Hell’ could have been released as a single. Each song is an absolute banger, from the intros to the breakdown to the choruses. I’ve been binge-listening to the album every day for the past two weeks and it has been amazing.
Unfortunately, the amount of times vocalist Sam Carter has used the word “BLEGH” on Holy Hell has decreased in comparison to Architects’ previous albums. Don’t worry, they sprinkled a few sneaky “bleghs” in there and they are rather epic.
Architects have solidified their place at the top of the metal leaderboard with their eighth album ‘Holy Hell’. The heartbreaking lyrics, shredding guitar riffs, and the brutal drum parts have done exactly what Architects aspired to do. Create an album that would make Tom Searle proud.