Architects Daybreaker

Following up 2011's critically acclaimed, but extensively fan-panned, The Here and Now, Architects' new album, Daybreaker, continues the band's descent into melodic post-metalcore bombast. Similar to the style change made by Thrice ― a group whose new material heavily influences melodic cuts such as "The Bitter End," "Behind the Throne" and "Unbeliever" ― the new sound bares nary a resemblance to their earlier offerings. But where Thrice expanded their sound, Architects sound empty without the technical prowess shown in the past. Though the tracks are catchy and occasionally compelling, they're essentially identical and formulaic, as the atmospheric build-ups and soaring riffs make way for boring breakdowns. The metal-influenced parts sound forced to appease fans disappointed with their last release, which results in Daybreaker sounding more like a business move than a work of art. In another act's canon, this album might have been one of their best, but given past releases, Daybreaker sounds stripped down, not a step up. (Distort)