Welcome to Yesterday’s Jukebox! In our newest monthly column, I’ll be taking a retrospective gaze through a wide selection of disparate genres and artist discographies (particularly those with a sizeable back catalogue), with a keen eye for the deep cuts, hidden gems, and certified bangers. This month, we’re taking a look at the career of Brighton metalcore exports Architects. – Owen Morawitz
“In the Desert” – Nightmares (2006)
At their inception in the mid-00s, Architects dealt exclusively in the type of molten mathcore that would please devoted Dillinger fans. Nightmares is chaotic, abrasive and supremely discordant, with tracks like “In The Desert” a shining example of original vocalist Matt Johnson’s panic-induced throat-shredding.
“North Lane” – Ruin (2007)
Ruin solidifies the Architects line-up that would endear them to crowds across the world. Here, new lead vocalist Sam Carter joins the band along with bassist Alex Dean. Combined with established members like rhythm guitarist Tim Hillier-Brook, and the dynamic duo of twin brothers, drummer Dan and lead guitarist Tom Searle, Architects would settle on a now-familiar and devastating pattern: tight grooves, stomping breakdowns, subtle ear-worm melodies.
(Also: this particular track may have provided the origin for the name of another iconic metalcore band…)
“Early Grave” – Hollow Crown (2009)
Hollow Crown is where Architects truly come into their own. With a noticeable change in guitar tuning and increased dynamic range from Carter, everything on this album has now become synonymous with the group. For a record with a strong slate of singles and impressive deep cuts, “Early Grave” kicks things off with an almighty bang, making for a fan favourite and a bonafide mosh pit monster.
“The Blues” – The Here and Now (2011)
Often labelled as the band’s much-maligned ‘pop record,’ The Here and Now is the riskiest detour in the band’s entire catalogue. Eschewing metalcore madness for a sleek and polished post-hardcore sound, it’s an album that alienated dug-in fans but opened many more to Architects’ artistic versatility. Tracks like melodic hardcore rager “Delete.Rewind” sound completely alien to the material on Nightmares and Ruin, even Hollow Crown—but that’s what makes them even more exciting.
“Devil’s Island” – Daybreaker (2012)
Following the perceived disappointment surrounding their previous record, Architects returned to the metalcore grindstone and dropped another leaden anvil of earth-shaking heavy bangers in just over a year. “Devil’s Island,” written by Carter and Tom Searle with a focus on the 2012 London Riots, is an exemplar for the quintessential Architects sound that would dominate the next decade: mammoth grooves, furious screams, soaring cleans, and fervent socio-political commentary. And, of course, the signature “blegh.”
“Castles In The Air” – Lost Forever // Lost Together (2014)
It’s hard to pick a stand-out track from one of the group’s landmark releases, but “Castles In The Air” just edges out the rest. What starts with a familiar hardcore intro quickly ascends to the spacey heights of powerful, pitched scream choruses and intricate, towering guitar melodies from rifflord-in-chief Tom Searle.
“Gone With The Wind” – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016)
Arguably the band’s best album, and the zenith of their 2010s heaviness, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us was also the final record with lead guitarist Tom Searle, a founding member of the group and principal songwriter who passed away shortly after the album’s release following a private three-year battle with cancer.
Accordingly, AOGHAU is Searle’s mighty swan song, suffused with thematic confrontations with death, mortality, and permanence. On “Gone With The Wind,” Searle and Carter drive this point home in one the band’s most gut-wrenching moments: “A sickness with no remedy, except the ones inside of me/ You ever wonder how deep you can sink into nothing at all?/ Disintegrate/ Annihilate me.”
“Doomsday” – Holy Hell (2018)
After losing a brother—both literally and figuratively—Architects had to grieve and regroup. On Holy Hell, they reflect on their collective experiences, pay homage to Tom Searle’s legacy, close one chapter and boldly turn towards what’s to come. Viewed this way, “Doomsday” is a fitting farewell: powerful, dynamic, achingly sincere, and easily the band’s biggest hit.
“Dead Butterflies” – For Those Who Wish To Exist (2021)
In our review for the band’s ninth album, we noted how the Architects “have always used their ideological convictions as a thematic springboard, and For Those Who Wish To Exist is no exception.” On the pre-release single “Dead Butterflies,” the group meditate on the tension between personal happiness and mourning for a planet in the death throes of climate crisis. It’s one of the band’s lushest compositions, perfectly complemented by Carter’s soulful croon, lavish strings and brass instrumentation. Same Architects, new sound, and a bright future.
Stream all of the above tracks on the Yesterday’s Jukebox Spotify playlist here.
Architect’s latest album, For Those Who Wish To Exist, is out now through Epitaph Records. Stream or purchase the record here.