In the mid-1990s, Fear Factory introduced a series of tropes into the metal canon that …
I think if we made another record that sounded like Holy Hell then we would be doing ‘Holy Hell’ a disservice”
MORE: How Architects Became One Of The Biggest Metal Bands In The World // INVERTED FESTIVAL: Aussie Punks WAAX Return To Rock Inverted REVIEWS: BRING ME THE HORIZON: POST HUMAN:SURVIVAL HORROR // KILLER BE KILLED: Reluctant Hero // ARCHITECTS: For Those That Wish To Exist // THE PRETTY RECKLESS: Death By Rock And Roll
“One of the last conversations that we had with Tom about the band was the direction that we wanted to move in and him saying that he would love for us to be this organic industrial sounding band,” says Sam Carter, frontman of UK metalcore giants Architects.
Tom of course, being his fallen comrade Tom Searle, who we all lost to cancer in 2016.
He foreshadows some of the surprising new changes in Architects sound ahead of the release of the group’s 9th studio album, For Those That Wish To Exist.
“He had this idea where you merge the elements of organic instruments like strings and wood instruments mixed with this electronic, pounding, harsh, I guess sort of a German sound.”
While the group’s newest release highlights an epic stadium rock approach that steers clear from Carter’s signature ‘bleghs’ and the frantic heaviness of some of the groups earlier works, it’s the notable inclusion of strings, horns and synths that have really got people talking.
“Not many bands would be able to use horns and stuff in their music if they aren’t ska, so it was important for us to really make it work. It is so interesting putting them together because there is that fine balance where you don’t want to tread on what the other instruments are doing and then you also have to put us in the middle of all those sounds as well.” He laughs, “it’s super exciting.”
“I think especially with the electronics and synths you can go down so many different roads to find what the song needs. During those times when you are searching for that perfect sound, you can start writing another song because you’ve stumbled across something that maybe you hadn’t heard before, so it’s exciting trying to find that balance.”
Following the groups eighth studio album, Holy Hell, which reached #2 on the ARIA charts; (a feat that even Carter admits was “fucking mental”), the release of the self-produced For Those That Wish To Exist butts up against some huge fan expectations. But for the band, a move in the opposite direction was exactly what they wanted.
I think if we made another record that sounded like Holy Hell’ then we would be doing Holy Hell a disservice.
[ Sam Carter ]
“I think more than anything we wanted to leave Holy Hell as it’s own thing” he says. “We couldn’t carry on doing that again, especially because a few of the songs on that record were written by Tom. I think if we had carried on with that route we would have become an Architects cover band, which we didn’t want.”
“The five of us who are still here have to push ourselves as musicians and push ourselves creatively because I think if we made another record that sounded like Holy Hell’ then we would be doing Holy Hell a disservice by making it not as special and unique as a record.”
Luckily, the quintet “pushing themselves as hard as [they] fucking could on this record” has paid off. With Animals, the albums lead single already amassing 15 million streams (just on Spotify) it seems evident that the English group are on track for their first ever Australian number one release in their 16 years as a band. Their next Australian tour should undoubtedly and deservingly include shows at arenas fitting 10,000+ fans.
“I think with writing this record the majority of it really lends itself to arena sized rooms,” says Carter. “I think it’s always important to have elements of both on a record.”
“Songs like Dying Is Absolutely Safe really breaks down and you kind of want people to hear that intimacy which can be hard in an arena. There are always ways around it and ways of making people feel like they are all in the front row, you just have to put on the best show you can.”
Having mentioned Dying Is Absolutely Safe, the album’s stripped back acoustic based closer is one that builds into a sheer wall of instrumentation, Carter says.
“As soon as we started writing that song it was pretty apparent it was going to be the albums closer. Because of the end of the song it really felt like the perfect way to close out the album.”
Expanding on the inclusion of certain instruments in the song, namely an acoustic guitar, Carter says, “it was a really big decision because acoustic songs can go two ways; they can be really touching and emotional or they can just go by the way and be nothing, so it was important to us to make it special.”
“By doing the version of A Wasted Hymn, which was acoustic and also the reprise of Doomsday, it just felt like it was time to do something like that because it was obvious that we could do that well.”
“What was important to us when we were doing it was making sure that all the songs felt real and that’s what we did.”
“I’m so happy with how that song came out; the ending is one of my favourite bits of music that we have ever done.”