But through all this existential and unremitting bleakness, the music is vital and vibrant, using a broader palette and brighter colours than they’ve ever used before. A decade ago, the melodic departure of The Here And Now – an album that hasn’t aged at all badly despite their virtual disowning of it – split fans down the middle. For Those That Wish To Exist is far bolder in scope and execution. Much of it is as far from that early technical metalcore as Bring Me The Horizon have strayed from their own deathcore beginnings. You can feel the message boards melting already, but there’s a sense of creative intent at play here that suggests Architects won’t pull back from this one, even if some fans fail to embrace the change.
So Dead Butterflies uses lush, cinematic soundscapes, Animals rides a stomping industrial-metal groove that could almost have been exported directly from Rammstein’s riff warehouse, and Meteor spews synth and lead guitar lines like they had to get rid of a surplus melody mountain. That isn’t to say that the heaviness is completely expunged, though. Impermanence features a crunching breakdown and another notable guest appearance from Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall, but the slamming metalcore elements embedded into the likes of An Ordinary Extinction and Discourse Is Dead are now parts of something bigger rather than the main event. Goliath is also worth a mention as it does revoke the past with a splendidly jarring riff, not to mention the best guest appearance of the lot from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil in full chaotic mode.
It’s only as Dying Is Absolutely Safe brings things to a stripped down close, full of bittersweet hope – or at least acceptance – that you realise what an exhausting ride it’s been. For Those That Wish To Exist is a long and constantly shifting album. It also sounds like it could be a crucial one in Architects’ ongoing evolution.
For Fans Of: Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, Loathe
For Those That Wish To Exist is out on February 26 via Epitaph. Pre-order / pre-save your copy now.