Architects ‘Holy Hell’ Mini Album Review

Originally posted to Instagram on September 25, 2021

Album recommendation: ‘Holy Hell’ by Architects


I still remember when the first single, “Doomsday,” came out in preparation for ‘Holy Hell’ and I was blown away. It was easily one of the most emotional metalcore tracks I’ve ever heard and it immediately tugged on my heartstrings. Three years later, “Doomsday” is as flawless as ever and the rest of the album is still one of the best metalcore records ever written, in my opinion.

Released on November 9, 2018, ‘Holy Hell’ was the first record by Architects that I listened to in its entirety. Though I had enjoyed their singles and other random songs, I never listened to a full album. When I heard of the tragic death of Architects’ guitarist Tom Searle after his battle with skin cancer and how this album was, in a way, a tribute to him, I knew I had to check it out.

The three things that stood out to me the most about this album’s sound are Sam Carter’s passionate vocals, the crystal clear production, and the dignified use of strings. Carter’s voice is so distinctive and his performance perfectly captures the pain in the lyrics. The production holds the album together with crunchy guitar tones, punchy drums, and soaring strings, the last of which bookends the entire album in an elegance and grace that few metal albums possess.

Much of the record, including the main guitar riff in “Doomsday,” were written by Tom Searle before his passing. Tom’s brother and Architect’s drummer, Dan Searle, wrote most of the album’s lyrics. Beautifully constructed, the lyrics deal with themes like pain and loss. However, there’s a line of hope buried throughout the message; a way out of the pain, culminating in the first lines of “A Wasted Hymn”: “All is not lost.” ‘Holy Hell’ ultimately acts as a cathartic experience, meant to help others process their pain until they reach the other side of it.

Architects are the masters of melancholy metalcore and this album only solidifies their place in the metalcore hierarchy. If you haven’t heard it already, this album is well worth your time.

Thanks to @randometalbvms for setting up this collab and to everyone else for participating!

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