Architect All Is Not Lost

While polished metalcore becomes the laughing stock of heavy music and technical metalcore bands continue to whirl themselves into the ground, there is still room for bands working within these genres to excel, believe it or not. This Philadelphia-based five-piece do not play any of those games and their sound is suitably punishing for it. There are no cheesy singing choruses and no overtly technical wankery to be found here. The band does possess a good amount of technical skill, but just when it seems like they’re about to Dillinger themselves right out of the ballpark, they come back in with a straight beat. Armed with a suitably thick and heavy production, and one hell of an angry-sounding vocalist, these guys lay waste to a lot of the metal/hardcore scene with this disc. The feedback-drenched finale of "Broke Dick Dog” combines the band’s social and political mindset with their nasty noise and sludge tendencies, and it sounds perfect. Ultimately, even though the band shows restraint, it is a great deal to take in — there’s only so much punishment one listener can take. Still, at a brief half-hour things never get boring; it’s a bit monotonous in its pleasure to kill, but that’s a good thing. (Metal Blade)