Architects - Hollow Crown (Cover Artwork)


Hollow Crown (2009)


I went into this one a skeptic. I was ready to talk about how I wished these guys would have broken up instead of the Gorgeous and rant about how weak melodic metalcore has become (or, arguably, has always been). As it turns out, I was totally wrong.

Hollow Crown surprised the shit out of me. Right from the devastating first riff of album opener "Early Grave" through to the second last track (before the obligatory introspective slow jam), this album is as fast and aggressive as it is heavy. Early on in the album it appears that Architects are going to fall victim to the unfortunate tendency bands like this seem to have -- that is, to follow a formula of aggressive beginnings followed by the pretty melodic sing-along part and the chug-heavy breakdown. Luckily, by the third track they start mixing it up and manage to abstain from the safety of the formula for the majority of the record.

Architects do an excellent job of incorporating more technically demanding bits into their songs. So often heavy bands will fail miserably to make mathy stuff fit well into what they've written and it comes across sounding forced. This is not to say Architects are putting together stuff comparable to Dillinger Escape Plan or Between the Buried and Me, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless.

There's a good chance that the decision to give this album a try was already made when the words "melodic metalcore" were read by many of you. I had very little hope for this album for essentially the same reason, but I had been a fan of the genre in the past so I decided to give this a shot. All things considered, I'm hugely impressed by Hollow Crown as a whole -- it's frantic, heavy as shit and pulled of with commendable precision. If you're a fan of metalcore you'll likely really enjoy this record, and if you've given up on the genre like I have, you might find hope in Hollow Crown.