Originally written by Jason Jordan.
Like Psyopus, this five-piece calls New York its home state and is connected to Metal Blade via Blackmarket Activities, though Psyopus are evidently on MB now. The fact that Architect are on BMA, however, should clue you in to what they sound like since the label houses several, chaotic post-hardcore units in the same vein. Still, I think All Is Not Lost most closely resembles the output of Norma Jean – except Architect’s material is heavier and superior. All in all, AINL is a fine debut from members who did time, interestingly enough, in former BMA signing Found Dead Hanging and World As a Virus.
While not as technical as a few of their labelmates, Architect certainly hold their own on the playing field. From opener “The Awakening” it’s apparent their songs are structured in such a way as to provide breathing room for the listener. There’s plenty of reverb and low-end – again, conjuring Norma Jean moments from O God, the Aftermath and Redeemer – with a liberal amount of tempo changes thrown in for good measure, which is a staple of the style anyway. The beginning of “Sic Semper Tyrannis” is complex, but they’re truly at the top of their game when they allow groove to dominate, even if it becomes a tad too repetitive like in the chant-filled “Hell of the Upsidedown Sinners,” “Broke Dick Dog,” and “The Giving Tree.” Nevertheless, the razor-y riffs found in the latter two of those tracks are priceless, and one can’t help but get drawn into “The Giving Tree” with it being a tribute to the fallen Shaun Luu, as evidenced by the lyrics – Here we are again to celebrate the one we’ve lost. His memory lives on forever and always in us. Here we are again to celebrate the one we love. Scream our throats red while we sing this song. There’s also a picture of his gravestone beneath the CD tray to further cement the homage.
If anything, however, All Is Not Lost is too short at a measly 31 minutes. Furthermore, the overwhelming successes make the more forgettable songs pale in comparison, which is unfortunate for band and listener alike. Even so, Architect are both potent and infectious, and I hope this is only the beginning of a long career. Shoot for more than half an hour next time, though.