After the stellar back-to-back run of their previous two records, Architects found themselves at a turning point. Whilst it could be easy for the group to revisit their tried-and-tested technical yet hook heavy brand of metalcore, instead ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’ sees the quintet aim for a wider scope that includes stadium-filling choruses and orchestral flourishes sharing space with crushing guitars and pummelling drums.
Opening with the spoken word ‘Do You Dream Of Armageddon?’, a sweeping cinematic string section gives a slight indication to the scope of the record before ‘Black Lungs’ and ‘Giving Blood’ jump headfirst into the new era of Architects. With both tracks tackling post-rock soundscapes and radio-friendly choruses with ease, the record embraces an evolving soundscape without losing the thick walls of distortion that the group have refined over the years.
That’s not to say that the album is a complete change of direction. ‘Discourse Is Dead’ and ‘Impermanence’ gladly delve into dense riffs, gritty vocals, and pounding drums. Whilst the former takes elements from the more soundscape driven opening tracks, the latter swiftly reminds us how delightfully heavy Architects can be, and with a guest spot from Winston McCall (Parkway Drive), the track also kicks off the run of additional vocalists that highlight the broad sonic palette of the record.
From the anthemic ‘Little Wonder’ (featuring Mike Kerr of Royal Blood) to the wide-eyed and manic ‘Goliath’ (featuring Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro), the tracks don’t just rely on the novelty of additional vocalists, they also provide different avenues for the group to explore.
Whilst it would be a safe bet for the group to lean on the industrial chug of the soaring lead single ‘Animals’ to carry the record, the likes of ‘Flight Without Feathers’ and sweeping strings that bookend ‘Goliath’ showcase Architects‘ ability to expand and evolve, even nine records into their career.
Closing such a dense record with an acoustic driven number is a risk, but it’s one that pays off with ‘Dying Is Absolutely Safe’. An intimate, melodic, and sobering conclusion, it not only peels back the underlying harmonies that have driven the record, it also highlights the narrative that is woven throughout ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’.
Ambitious in its scope and armed with an abundance of riffs and hooks, Architects successfully transition into their new chapter whilst not losing their identity.