For fans of extreme metal, the 2000s will go down in history as a time in which Europe dominated the death metal/black metal field (especially the Scandinavian countries) while the United States dominated metalcore. But where there are rules and patterns, there are also exceptions; the U.S. has its share of death metal and black metal bands in the 21st century, and Europe has its share of metalcore and hardcore bands. One of England's metalcore-friendly bands is Architects, whose second album, Ruin, is best described as metalcore with a strong noise rock influence. Architects don't have the groove-minded outlook of Hatebreed and Throwdown, two of the best metalcore bands in the U.S.; their harsh, violent, claustrophobic material is a lot more angular. While ultra-dense tracks like "Sail This Ship Alone," "Hunt Them Down," "Buried at Sea," and "Running from the Sun" don't quite fall into the technical metalcore category, angularity is a big part of the equation on this nasty sledgehammer of a CD. So is angst; when lead vocalist Sam Carter sings, his tortured screaming burns with rage and anger. Occasionally, some clean vocals are heard alongside Carter's extreme vocals, but even so, this 2007 recording never really ventures into screamo territory. Ruin is not an exceptional or remarkable album; it isn't among the truly essential metalcore recordings of 2007. But the 43-minute disc is generally decent, and Ruin serves as a reminder of the fact that metalcore doesn't have to come from either the United States or Canada to be noteworthy.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson