Album Review: Architects - Hollow Crown

With their latest full-length 'Hollow Crown', Brighton's Architects have firmly established themselves as one of the UK's leading metal outfits, recently performing to a sold-out crowd at London's Islington Academy on the penultimate date of their UK tour. This third offering from the Brighton 5-piece is the sound of a band that is truly at the top of their game.

With 'Hollow Crown', Architects have taken the template drawn out by genre-defining bands, such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch, and Coalesce, and welded it into an uncompromising slab of technical metal. Ranging from the fierce 'We're All Alone', with it's technical guitar work and heavy beatdowns, to the Thrice-esque closing to 'Follow The Water', Architects have taken all the best points from previous offering 'Ruin', and polished them up to make a fierce, yet winning formula. The album also provides a stage for vocalist Sam Carter to display his impressive array of vocal ability, setting Architects apart from the usual play-by-numbers metal band. However, this is not to say that the instrumental work on 'Hollow Crown' is not up to scratch, in fact the truth is far from it. The guitar work is especially impressive, with Tom Searle and Tim Hillier-Brook combining incredibly technical solos and infectious riffs throughout with ease. Where other metal albums can leave the listener either uninspired by the lack of originality, or alienated from the music by the sheer technicality on display, Architects have hit the middle ground and produced an album that is challenging on the listener's ear, but also keeps interest high thoughout.

Amongst a genre that is over-saturated with unoriginal and monotonous bands right now, Architects certainly have the songs to place them as leaders of the pack. With the recent loss of fellow Brighton metallers Johnny Truant, a gap has arisen at the top of the UK metal scene for a creditable and passionate band to front the genre, and with the songs displayed on 'Hollow Crown' coupled with an intense live show to match, Architects could well be that band.

4/5

Selina Christoforou

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