The Famine The Architects of Guilt

Following the slow disintegration of Embodyment and their competent, but largely ignored, attempts at commercial appeal on their last few full-lengths, the deathcore pioneers fell off the face of the planet, seemingly never to return. Three of the original members reunited in 2008 as the Famine, with the scorching The Raven and the Reaping, which came and went with little fanfare despite being one of the stronger genre offerings that year. The Architects of Guilt sees long-time vocalist Kris McCaddon leaving the fold, with bassist Nick Nowell taking over his spot, which has had a noticeable impact on the overall tone of the album, if not the core songwriting approach. Musically, there are some small shifts towards more dominant melodies, occasionally betraying a slight progressive thrash influence, but the group's established formula of burly grooves, syncopated percussion blasts and deftly assembled traditional metal song structures remains in full effect. Nowell's vocals are a touch more dynamic than Kris's, relying less on the standard Solid State Zao aping (although, to be fair, Embodyment have been using that style longer than anybody besides Carcass), bringing the group's overall sound a bit closer to modern metal. The production is slightly lacking in crunch, but is definitely listenable. And while the dissonance has taken a back seat, to a certain extent, it benefits the album as a whole, rendering Architects their most fully realized effort yet. (Solid State)