Despite the critical success of 2014’s ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’ finally allowing Brighton’s Architects to reap the rewards that they’ve been sewing all these years, seventh outing ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ has never seen the metalcore troupe sound so disturbingly bleak. Whereas their previous record made hope apparent, knowing that though we may be lost at least we’re not alone, ‘All Our Gods…’ is pointing a finger at a world that the band claim may be too late to save.
Indeed, though Architects have always had a message to convey through a strong statement of conviction, with lyrical subjects changing from that of a more personal stance to topics on a social, environmental, or political standpoint since ‘Devil’s Island’ (from 2012’s ‘Daybreaker’), never have they sounded as dark or emitted a sense of hopelessness as they do here.
Right off the bat with opener ‘Nihilist’, vocalist Sam Carter screams “We are beggars, we are so fucking weak. / And once upon a time we had the world at our feet. / Well, we’re all dying to meet our maker. / But all our Gods have abandoned us.”, piledrived through with a relentless assault of buzzsaw riffs and battalion bass and drums, and it doesn’t let up from there.
Throughout Carter is foaming at the mouth, wailing lines like “Take my eyes, I cannot see sense.” (‘The Empty Hourglass’), “We will consume until there’s nothing left. / Remember us as a waste of breath.” (‘Deathwish’), “No love, no empathy. / Our fellow man is now the enemy.” (‘Phantom Fear’), and “They want all for one and none for all / I want to be there to witness the downfall.” (‘Downfall’). It’s a blunt and heavy message carried throughout, one that addresses worldwide disillusion to the bigger and overlooked problems in a world that prefers to be consumed by greed and celebritarian needs rather than conserving love, happiness, empathy, and well-being.
The instrumentation here supplies an image of self-loathing, confusion, and the near brink of an apocalypse just as much as the lyrics that are encased within it. Principle songwriter Tom Searle doesn’t let down, delivering a tapestry of riffs and expansive, ominous tones and electronic backdrops that makes everything sound all the more aggressively grand and ferociously majestic. Nothing displays this more than closer ‘Memento Mori’; an 8-minute ambitious effort that is anthemic from start-to-finish, led in by glitchy electronics and lightly strummed chords that descends us into a finale of despair and anguish, ending with a quote from philosopher Alan Watts to “be mindful of death” – the translation of the track’s title.
Though subjects of atheism and nihilism certainly aren’t shied away from, this effort is more a blunt accusatory declaration of humanity sinking into an abyss that they’ve created for themselves and have turned a blind eye to. Instead of a tap on the shoulder to share these important points of discussion, Architects have rightfully come in with a sledgehammer to the cranium. A blistering record that will no doubt scatter the higher end of many end of the year lists.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)