Architects - The Here And Now
Century Media
Metalcore
10 songs (39:13)
Release year: 2011
Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

Brighton-based metalcorers Architects have somehow never been as annoying as their better-known rivals Bring Me The Horizon. They’ve always seemed to trade on musical talent rather than the frontman’s looks, for one, and fourth full-length since 2004 The Here And Now continues that trend, albeit weakened. It represents a lighter sound for the band after the pumped-up mathcore of previous years, with copious clean singing and even a couple of ballad-style tunes that will cause much teeth-gnashing amongst those who refuse to listen to The Dillinger Escape Plan post-1999. Although it can seem surprising that bands like this are still in fashion, dipping into the genre now and then to sample the goods can yield positives, and it’s hard not to enjoy The Here And Now for what it is, despite clear flaws that stop me from truly praising it.

Opening stomper Day In Day Out is probably the most immediate and catchy song on show, switching between tetchy tech-riffs and clichéd yet surprisingly powerful clean singing – Architects proving it is possible to succeed at passing probably the one hurdle that keeps me from enjoying a lot of metalcore bands. Learn To Live’s subtly electronica-backed anthem builds on these strengths, smoothly incorporating both clean and harsh vocals and making good usage of each, even with the almost militaristic gang-sung sections – which I raised an eyebrow at the first time I heard them, but which do work well. Elsewhere, just because we’ve heard it a hundred times before from a hundred different bands doesn’t make the irritable hardcore stomp of Delete Rewind any less effective, nor the modern heaviness of Btn.

Where this album’s step does seriously falter is when it attempts those aforementioned ballads. An Open Letter To Myself, for one, the clean vocals crossing the line and becoming insipid in front of an electronica and piano backing. Heartburn isn’t much better, crossing the post-hardcore line and simpering weakly before fading away. It’s all easily skippable, especially since other tracks like The Blues make better use of clean vocals, but does detract considerably from the album. In another blow, there’s not a great deal to celebrate from then until the closing seven-minuter Year In Year Out/Up And Away, featuring Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan on guest vocals and flexing its muscles without compromising on atmospheric effect. I wouldn’t recommend this album unless you’re comfortable with experiments in melody, not all of which will work, but then if you’re a fan of this sort of music you’re probably already aware that 2009’s Hollow Crown was much better. The Here And Now is a decent follow-up, but should have been better.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Day In Day Out, Delete Rewind, Btn, Year In Year Out/Up And Away
Goat quoted 73 / 100
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