Architect Ghost of the Saltwater Machines

Architect Ghost of the Saltwater Machines
Architect's 2006 debut, All is Not Lost, stood out impressively at a time when abrasive, balls-out noisecore had receded from popularity, replaced by cookie-cutter MySpace bands and piecemeal At the Gates worship. While trends shift over time, Architect have thankfully remained staunchly entrenched in their chosen style. Named after several members' prior outfit before Architect's formation, Ghost of the Saltwater Machines is a merciless assault free of any pretensions, mainstream influences or as vocalist Keith Murray shrieks in "I Am Become Death," "delusions of a higher purpose." Stripping down their previously dense lyrical approach while still retaining tasteful political commentary and references to grand conspiracies in the world at large allows for a catchier, more focused listen, if a slightly less intense one. While the Coalesce, Turmoil and Premonitions of War influences are still present, there is a heightened emphasis on breakdowns this time around that may offset some of the band's fury but make no mistake, these are wildly careening, tough-as-nails sludgeathons that become very memorable very fast. Architect have successfully refined their sound into a more evenly written and dynamic beast, and what they've lost in unbridled rage they make up for with increased maturity. A must hear for genre buffs. (Black Market Activities)