Holy Hell in all honesty, has been the album of the year for me so far. Every track on this album represents exactly what Architects are and how they have developed professionally from their previous work. Don’t get me wrong, I personally feel that their best work is still Hollow crown, but considering what they’ve been through with the death of Tom Searle, to release a new album so soon and with such quality is just incredible. It’s strange with Architects, as because of their intimacy, you always feel like their writing and performing their music with their audience as opposed to for them, like some of the more mainstream bands within the genre, such as ‘Bring me the Horizon’.
Doomsday is probably the song that immediately stands out when looking at the track list, given that it was released in late 2017. When I heard this for the first time, I was worried that after Searle’s death, the band may not be able to pull off the same music (given that he was credited as writing most the music). But after listening to the song, I was amazed and excited by just how powerful and consistent the song was with their trademark blend of heavy riffs and melodic choruses (just listen to early grave). Meant as a tribute to Searle, I think this song is a great homage to a fantastic musician.
Doomsday is likely the perfect example of the great selection of songs on the album, which starts off heavy and finishes in a soft Architects style. Looking at some of their other songs, the opening track ‘Death is not Defeat’ feels like another tribute song, and shows that the band is wasting no time in demonstrating the album’s focus. An instantly heavy start, you can feel the emotion in this song, as the chorus focuses around the subject of death and how it is not over once we are gone.
Equally, the ‘Seventh Circle’ is just a crazily heavy song. Lasting just over two minutes, this song provides a nice boost in tempo from its surrounding songs, which contain a bit more melody and rhythm (… and …). I would recommend listening to this song if you wanna get really pumped for a really short time.
Another song on the album that seems to capture that Architects sound is ‘Royal Beggars’. Starting with an almighty guitar riff, this song provides a heavy build up with a great scream/sing sync which… is so notorious for combining. The song in itself seems shy in comparison with the heaviness of ‘Seventh Circle’, but is special in its own way.
Overall, I would highly recommend this album, as given its heaviness balanced with melody, ‘Holy Hell’ offers the ideal bridge for anyone who is starting to get into metal music from other, softer genres. Equally, as a long-time fan of the band, this album means so much in the sense that they have not sold out, and have only gotten better with time.