All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us review by Architects

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  • Released: May 27, 2016
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.8 (40 votes)
Architects: All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
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Sound — 6
In the span of their decade-plus career, Architects went from building up a cult following early on with their style of tricky mathcore and heavy-hitting metalcore, to nearly losing it when they took on a more mainstream and fleeting post-hardcore sound in their fourth album, 2011's "The Here and Now," but frankly, the backlash response to the album was of the same over-reactive caliber as the response to Finch's "Say Hello to Sunshine"; revisiting the album, it's quite alright (doubly so if you're a fan of an Alexisonfire type of sound). Regardless, Architects' recent stretch of material has distanced themselves from that post-hardcore path, having repositioned themselves back on their original metalcore trail with their instrumentally adept, symphonic-tinged 2012 album, "Daybreaker," and then giving their metalcore sound a post-rock gloss in their 2014 album, "Lost Forever // Lost Together."

With their last couple of albums displaying the band's growing interest in the textural qualities that post-rock influences provide, Architects' seventh album, "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us," ups that amount of influence significantly. With more post-rock breaks appearing in songs, there's more emphasis on juxtaposition in the band's songwriting, whether by contrasting their primary metal energy (like the frenetic riffing in "Deathwish" later parlaying into a serene bridge) or carrying contrasts within the section itself (like the contained but active drumming in the break of "Phantom Fear"). Along with that, Architects bank even more on tonal guitar layers that promote a more passive but integral melodic element to the band's sound (as opposed to the more upfront melodic qualities of "The Here and Now"), adding more dimension to the upbeat chugging rhythms of "Gravity" or the slogging breakdowns in "A Match Made in Heaven."

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However, that post-rock staple of tonal guitar layers ends up doing about as much harm as good in "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us." Where in some cases, those heapings of tonal layers end up being too overbearing in the mix (drowning out the lead guitar melody in "Gravity" and getting too noisy at the crest of "All Love Is Lost"), other cases show those tonal guitars trying to divert attention from the noticeably monotonous metal riffs in "Nihilist" and "Phantom Fear." And with every song on the album using those ample amounts of sirening guitar layers, it consequentially renders itself an element of perpetual droning, which grows more and more tedious as the album goes on - though Architects do themselves and the listener a favor by saving their best for last in the multi-faceted prog-metal closer "Memento Mori."

Lyrics — 7
With frontman Sam Carter's recent focus on scathing political criticism in his lyrics in the past couple of Architects albums, he's still managed to keep one hand gripped on a sense of hope that things can change. But if his line "Hope is a prison" in "Gone With the Wind" isn't enough of an indicator, Carter's lyrics in "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" at this point have become almost entirely depraved of that previous sense of hope. From his lyrics about the planet being unable to sustain us ("Our collapse will be remission / A planet scarred beyond all recognition" in "Deathwish"), our own humanity being unable to sustain itself ("No love, no empathy / Our fellow man is now our enemy" in "Phantom Fear"), or shooting down any consolation in salvation ("We're all dying to meet our maker / But all our gods have abandoned us" in "Nihilist"), Carter's observations this time around are dead-set in a FUBAR perspective, and though his unbridled pessimism keeps him from believing that change can truly turn things around, he still revels in overthrowing the corrupt elite just for the sake of dragging them down with the rest of the forsaken in "Downfall" and "Gravity."

Overall Impression — 7
Within the past several years, plenty of metal bands have adopted post-rock characteristics to augment their sound for more dimension, from Deftones and Underoath to The Contortionist and Northlane, and despite coming off more like a trend the more bands take the same stylistic turn, it does indeed work as a route to mature one's metal sound. But while Architects may have been tending to this post-rock turn in their metalcore sound for the past couple of albums, the post-rock inspirations strongly manifested in "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" hit critical mass, and the extraneous harping on those compositional characteristics ultimately comes off more like a crutch than a bona fide improvement.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    auzzietaco
    Anyone else enjoy the hell out of this album?
    Metallichemical
    I did! Contrary to this review, I found it to be a very strong album, enjoyable from start to finish.
    slizewskil
    I completely agree. But this is coming from someone who really enjoys metalcore, so perhaps I am a bit biased. But in terms of metalcore as a whole, Architects are really near the top and this album really shows it.
    keefsy
    I'm a metalcore kid (although I am now 30), and I think this album just sounds the same as their last. I know lot's of people love it and disagree but I'm just not into them anymore. I feel as though they have found their formala that pleases the masses and they are just going to stick with it. More power to them, it's just not for me anymore.
    pretendevour
    What a terribly written review
    LightxGrenade
    I wouldn't go as far as saying it's terribly written but it reads like an essay for English class with it's needless use of "fancy" words. For example the line "frenetic riffing in "Deathwish" later parlaying into a serene bridge". Parlaying means to build up into something greater but a "frenetic" riff doesn't parlay into a "serene" bridge, it transitions into one. Sometimes being brief and simple goes a long way.
    vppark2
    I rarely use fancy word when I wrote reviews. I like to keep it simple. That being said, I'm not really digging this album as much as their past 2 releases. It feels very samesy.
    Karlsteel
    Nobody cares if you've learnt a few new words (or googled them), so keep it simple. Instead we get bollocks like this conclusion: "But while Architects may have been tending to this post-rock turn in their metalcore sound for the past couple of albums, the post-rock inspirations strongly manifested in "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" hit critical mass, and the extraneous harping on those compositional characteristics ultimately comes off more like a crutch than a bona fide improvement." THAT IS ONE SENTENCE!!! P.S. Quality album, and personally I think it's an improvement on the last one, which was missing something.
    vppark2
    Hmm...care to tell me what it was missing?
    Karlsteel
    Well that's the point - can't really put my finger on it, it just didn't grab me like their previous stuff. It just got a bit boring after the first three or four songs, but this one seems to have cut out a lot of the superfluous bits.
    TOOLeffingTOOL
    Sam Carter doesn't write the lyrics. Journalism does a disservice if you aren't doing any research. Album is pretty stellar from start to finish. Some songs came off a little too similar on first listen, but quickly differentiated themselves. I like it for an 8/10
    Nuclearcrayon
    I read somewhere that he writes half of them or something like that? I could be wrong though.
    d.sharpe1095
    The reviewer's rating gets too much credit. Their votes should be counted like every user.
    brians.miller08
    Great album from start to finish, I think this is one of the more under ratted bands in the scene.
    SSympathy
    i think the reviewers on this site are kind of biased against architects.
    mp8andrade
    *against anything possibly labeled as post-hardcore or metalcore
    slizewskil
    I agree completely. Metalcore has been somewhat typed and people don't take it as seriously because of so many people who hate "breakdowns" and the other elements that metalcore music has.
    Mike Saikaley
    Great album. But I still personally think Daybreaker was their best album. LFLT and AOGHAU have too many tracks that sound the same instrumentally.
    MH400
    Lost Forever // Lost Together Ruin Nightmares Hollow Crown AOGHAU Daybreaker Here and Now Thats how I rate Architects albums.
    sandro.rabe.1
    1 Ruin 2 Daybreaker 3 AOGHAU and Hollow Crown 4 LF//LT 5 The Here And Now Really enjoyed Ruin's dark and progressive sound und Daybreaker's huge amount of different musical ideas. Can't really rate Nightmares because I didn't listen to it that many times.
    bakaaah
    architects' music ist great. But the problem for me is, that since Lost Forever Lost Together the songs almost sound exact the same. I discovered that they use the same scales over and over again, which is not cool because these guys are talented enough to do more than this basic minor pattern and chugga chugg stuff.. Again, they do cool music but I miss those Hollow Crown times.