You think I was going to pass up on one of the biggest Metalcore releases this year?
2016 was a year of polarising highs and lows for the Architects, they released the extremely well received All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, and sadly just three months later, one of the founding members and main songwriter, Tom Searle, passed away of skin cancer. No one would have blamed the Brighton crew for calling it a day and going their separate ways. But in a case of ‘when life gives you lemons’ the boys persevered and dropped a fitting tribute to their fallen brother and bandmate.
Dan Searle (Tom's twin) had stated that he and his brother had written most of Holy Hell before Tom’s passing, and the album is a tribute to him. You can hear the emotion in the lyrics and music the whole way through, creating a powerful record indeed.
Since Holy Hell is the band’s way of dealing with their loss, it’s heavy and dark, which is fitting, but also touching. The track titles are a massive giveaway of the mood here, ‘Death Is Not Defeat’, ‘Mortal After All’, ‘Damnation’, ‘Dying To Heal’ and ‘A Wasted Hymn’ all sound gloomy, but are in fact truly beautiful. If you need to hear a few songs before deciding to make a purchase, those are my recommendations.
Architects have released a monster album that is also a statement to the fans: that they are going nowhere and will recover from this sad loss. And what a way to do it too, they’ve slightly evolved their Metalcore sound compared to Gods and it’s the perfect step for me, not too same same, but nothing too radical.
If you're fence sitting whether to get or listen to this record, jump down and do it, you won’t be disappointed.