First impressions of The Here And Now from Architects UK lean toward the screamo genre with elements of late-era Papa Roach and maybe some mid-’90s college. While the screamo aspect of that impression might be true with angst-ridden lyrics like “I can’t understand why I’ve been put here/I’m stuck in a world of sympathy/With nobody watching over me,” further listening reveals that these guys are forging a pretty cool direction within .
So, let’s get one thing straight before we continue: the name of the band is not “Architects UK,” but rather just simply “Architects.” The reason for adding UK here is to distinguish this British band from the American progressive metal band Architect.
Hailing from Brighton, England, Architects have put forth a brutal effort in The Here And Now; the fourth full-length studio album from the band. From start to finish, the album is an intense journey that blends metalcore vocals and pitch-perfect straight vocals and even suitably awesome backing vocals, which at times sounds almost choral (most evidently on display on “Learn to Live,” which also sounds eerily similar to “Cry Little Sister” from The Lost Boys).
Architects UK – “Learn to Live”
Flying in the face of more traditional, more “sophisticated” metal, Architects aren’t offering any speed metal guitar solos or much in the way of double bass machine gun drumming. What they are offering, however, are intricate guitar melodies from Tom Searle and Tim Hillier-Brook and great variety and interesting fills on drums from Dan Searle. And without the help of any obvious synth, Architects might appear to be stripped-down, basic balls-to-the-wall metal, but they’re much more than that and difficult to categorize; they’ve been accused of everything from metalcore to post-metalcore to post-hardcore to mathcore to progressive metal). Obviously Architects are self-descriptive as they design a new future for metal.
The onslaught is interrupted twice during the course of the album with the softer, more sensitive tracks “An Open Letter To Myself” and “Heartburn,” the latter of which should have been discarded. The only evidence of mathcore that I could find on The Here And Now was in the final track, “Year In Year Out” (which actually is reminiscent of Duran Duran in parts). The other tracks on the album that haven’t been mentioned here are pretty similar, but attentive ears will find value in them.
Verdict: You want this album. Architects are making noise and gaining momentum in their homeland and it won’t be long before they invade the North American consciousness.