The Here and Now

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The thriving British alt-metal scene may be in its rudest health for years, but that means the flurry of bands hoping to follow We Are the Ocean, Young Guns, and Bring Me to the Horizon onto the Radio 1 playlist and into the charts now have to work a little harder to make themselves noticed. Brighton five-piece Architects have at least made some effort to rock the boat on their fourth album in five years, The Here and Now, with the glitchy electronica of "An Open Letter to Myself" and the angular stadium rock balladry of "Heartburn" revealing a softer and more melancholic side worlds apart from their renowned brutal screamcore sound. It's a shame, though, that they seem reluctant to pursue this more intriguing melodic approach any further, as the remaining eight tracks stick to the same barrage of tortured howls, frenzied riffs, and earth-shattering rhythms, albeit with a slightly more mainstream edge, that were so prominent on their previous three releases. The mosh-pit crowd will no doubt lose their minds to the punishing collaborations with Comeback Kid's Andrew Neufeld ("Stay Young Forever") and the Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato ("Year in Year Out/Up and Away"), while there's an undeniable anthemic quality to the military drums and call-and-response chants of "Learn to Live." But from frontman Sam Carter's Jekyll and Hyde-esque intense screams/clean emo-rock vocals, to the propulsive post-hardcore guitars on "Delete, Rewind," to the aggressive wall of distortion on "The Blues," it's all been done with more aplomb and with more invention before.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick