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Architects - 'Hollow Crown'

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Architects - Hollow Crown

Architects - Hollow Crown

Century Media Records

The Bottom Line

Monochromatic British metalcore with infrequent melodic touches.
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Pros

  • Album picks up near the end.
  • Powerful drummer from Dan Searle.
  • Occassionally strong melodic passages.

Cons

  • Generic songs with few distinguishing traits and predictable turns.
  • Sounds too much like better bands in this genre.
  • Doesn’t hold up well on repeat listens.

Description

  • Released February 10, 2009 on Century Media Records.
  • Recorded at Outhouse Studios, Reading, England, July 2008.
  • Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Mastering.

Guide Review - Architects - 'Hollow Crown'

If Architects got anything right on their third release it was titling the album Hollow Crown; there's simply not much there that hasn't been perfected elsewhere. Indeed, the music on this album feels as well-worn as the old sneaker that’s been tucked into the bottom of your closet for years. You notice feigned touches of Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage) in vocalist Sam Carter’s sing-scream dynamic and the album visuals seem copped from Mastodon (think the earthy art and iconography on Leviathan and Blood Mountain.) But unlike your favorite and most comfortable shoe, this borderline clunker is likely to give you a nasty blister.

The heftiest problem with Hollow Crown is that Architects don’t have a sense of their musical identity and seem constricted by staid metalcore boundaries. As soon as the band introduces the vocal histrionics so favored in metalcore, the album gets derailed. Very few bands utilize this approach well and it’s often the death knell for even the best musicians – check Cryptopsy’s last album The Unspoken King for similar results. Hollow Crown is also crammed with the requisite breakdowns, hardcore touches and predictable thick guitars meeting an occasionally brisk melody. The music begins to grate early.

If you manage to listen to the end, Architects finally gets in right with the eponymous closing track where guitars and vocals soar in equal measure, but getting to that point is a challenge. There’s nothing that distinguishes most of these songs save often stellar drumming. It’s not terrible, it’s just boring.

Architects began their career a few years ago as teenagers and were perhaps rushed onto a major metal label without time to develop. They are young enough to turn the corner. But if you’ve got a taste for this type of music it’s best to listen to Killswitch’s The End of Heartache or The Red Chord.

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