There was a nagging suspicion that Architects had snatched at, and missed, their big chance with 2011’s ambitious but ultimately far from emphatic The Here and Now; but the Brighton metallers have returned in dramatic fashion with Daybreaker. While last year’s effort attempted to court the mainstream with slower, apparently more accessible songs, this fifth album showcases the full breadth of the band’s talents, comprising a finely balanced end product.
The Bitter End opens the album with brooding menace before descending into raspy electronic rancour. On the face of it, it’s a slow and abrasive entrance – but there are underlying currents of subtlety and beauty. The high-octane Alpha Omega offers something different, though: the track sprints through tumultuous riffs complementing Sam Carter’s powerful roar ‘til a shoulder-swinging chorus lands smooth, confident vocals over choppy, complex guitar motifs.
These Colours Don’t Run is a heavy mosh which develops from an eerie intro into a song chock-full with interesting rhythms and powerful melodies. The way the band has learnt to punctuate their silences as violently as their most serious breakdowns is testament to their status as one of the UK’s finest and most enduring tech-metal talents.
Another highlight is Even If You Win, You’re Still a Rat, featuring Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon. Bursting straight into chaos, the song ebbs and flows at will throughout its three minutes. The 11 songs only run for 41 minutes, but there’s so much variety to be heard across these cuts that it’s as full an experience as you’re likely to get in contemporary metal.
Daybreaker is a great album. It’ll go down as one of Architects’ finest works – it’s certainly their most well-rounded release to date – and will likely stand the test of time. Don’t ignore this band.