The Guardian - G2 - - Classical - Dave Simp­son

Artist Ar­chi­tects Al­bum Holy Hell La­bel Epi­taph

In 2016, Brighton met­al­core gi­ants Ar­chi­tects were sent reel­ing when founder gui­tarist and song­writer, Tom Searle – brother of drum­mer Dan – died of skin can­cer, aged 28. Two years on, the sur­viv­ing sib­ling de­scribes the band’s eighth al­bum (the first since Searle’s death) as be­ing “about pain: the way we process it, cope with it and live with it”. Rather than suc­cumb to de­spair, the al­bum comes hurtling out of the traps, of­fer­ing what the sur­viv­ing Searle hopes will be “a light at the end of the tun­nel for peo­ple who are go­ing through ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ences”.

Tragedy has also brought re­align­ment, with new gui­tarist Josh Mid­dle­ton and a shift from po­lit­i­cal/ en­vi­ron­men­tal to more per­sonal themes. Royal Beg­gars could still dou­ble as so­cial com­men­tary, but the songs oth­er­wise ad­dress the stages of griev­ing, from shock to a grad­ual ac­cep­tance, with raw can­dour. As vo­cal­ist Sam Carter screams: “I wasn’t braced for the fall­out.” Mu­si­cally, they’ve pushed their own bound­aries. The bru­tal bits are more sav­age, the gen­tler bits more re­flec­tive, and there are oc­ca­sional al­most clas­si­cal tex­tures. The songs’ dif­fi­cult birth has given them a brac­ing, an­themic, heart­felt and oc­ca­sion­ally dream­like qual­ity. Ar­chi­tects aren’t a band for any­one with sen­si­tive hear­ing, but it’s hard not to be moved by this loud, cathar­tic howl.

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