Architects’ eighth album ‘Holy Hell’ was a moving tribute to their late guitarist and chief songwriter Tom Searle, who passed away from cancer in August 2016. The band could have split up amidst the tragedy, and it would have been understandable, but they recruited Josh Middleton from Sylosis, whose pummeling guitar riffs are a perfect fit. The band also released a 22-minute documentary “Holy Ghost” which is an inspiring watch; showing how they can turn a big tragedy into something positive. It also shows a clip of their performance of “Gone With the Wind” at Alexandra Palace, uniting the crowd as one.
The first song on the new album is ‘Death is Not Defeat.’ It starts with a trademark string section that shows off the huge production. Then, Sam Carter’s defiant vocals come in. His vocal range on this particular track is incredible, colliding perfectly with the chunky rhythm section. The vocals come to the fore on the stunning chorus as they soar into the listeners’ head.
The lyrical content is about rising up from adversity and grief, demonstrating the bands’ courageous strength. ‘Death is Not Defeat’ is a beautiful track, setting the tone for an emotionally charged album.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos