Architects – Ruin


Artist

Album

Ruin

Label

Distort Entertainment

Year

2007

For Fans Of

Norma Jean – A Secret Death – Johnny Truant

Summary

UK metal without the hairspray…

Rating

90 / 100

Yes, I’m aware that the modern
day amalgamation of metal and hardcore doesn’t qualify as true metal
in the eyes of the purists… but fuck them. Architects are a
heavy band that demands your attention and their sophomore full length Ruin is more accomplished than a large percentage of the crap that’s
being churned out of the US at the moment. 

While the use of off kilter drumming
and staccato riffing is nothing new in the world of heavy music, Architects
have done a particularly good job of taking these familiar ingredients
and crafting captivating songs out of them. The comparisons to Norma
Jean
are going to be unavoidable but if you give Ruin a few listens you’ll be privy to a somewhat unique take on an already
familiar sound. 

Some bands take their time when
kicking off a record… they ease the listener into it. Architects
clearly don’t subscribe to that theory because “Buried At Sea”
hits like a sledgehammer. Sam’s vocals are nothing short of
intense, his mid range bark having more of an impact in thirty seconds
than the hordes of front men who resort to over used low growls and
faux black metal shrieks. What’s even more impressive is the successful
inclusion of breakdowns that don’t rely on open E chords, the groove
of the riff more than compensating for the lack of down tuned chugging. 

The disjointed introduction of
“Hunt Them Down” makes way for a Mastodon influenced riff, something that a lot of groups are having a crack at
these days, the difference being that Architects have the chops to pull
it off. The guitars work throughout “You’ll Find Safety” is unrelenting
while resident skin hitter Dan certainly earns his keep showing off a wide variety of well executed
beats… the inclusion of clean vocals giving the song an almost atmospheric
feel. 

“Always” is another shining
example of just how effective the Architects resident axe men are and
“Sail This Ship Alone” provides a short breather before the sinister
sounds of “Heartless” make their way through the speakers. The remarkable
thing is the melodic edge that these songs manage to retain, the guitar
bordering on ambient at certain stages. The opening riffs of “North
Lane” would have many a head nodding along in agreement, the rapid
fire blast beats punctuating the tracks heaviest moments and in the
process making this one of the album’s most intense numbers.  

“I Can’t See The Light”
operates in a similar fashion to the previous number however the bass
heavy “Low” breaks the song writing style up nicely. I’d love
to hear the band explore these slower moments on their next record as
the dense sounds are on par with anything Cult Of Luna have churned out in the last few years. Bringing up the tail is “Running
From The Sun” and “Save Me”, both of which are excellent tunes
but the content has already been thoroughly explored on Ruin.

Conclusion

A fantastic album from one of
the UK’s most promising bands. I look forward to seeing what they
can come up with next.

Tracklisting

  1. Buried At Sea
  2. Hunt Them Down
  3. You’ll Find Safety
  4. Always
  5. Sail This Ship Alone
  6. Heartless
  7. North Lane
  8. I Can’t See The Light
  9. Low
  10. <

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