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Architects of Heavy, Epic, Battle Hymns - 81%

bayern, July 15th, 2017

This band appeared in the late-90’s, but weren’t lucky to put themselves on the any release map before the end of the decade, like their compatriots Tefilla, to give one relevant example with a band who came out at around the same time, did. I guess they had patiently waited for the old school to come back in fashion, and this is when they hit with full force, first with the album reviewed here.

The delivery of these Warchitects is quite heavy, not very diverse, relying on long complex compositions with an officiant epic aura which can pass for both the classic and the modern school as “Hammer” “hammers” this notion firmly into the listener’s brain with its serious progressive layout and the bouncy faster-paced insertions. Once one passes through this 8-min behemoth, he/she will have a fairly good idea of what will occur later as the approach doesn’t drastically change throughout although “Hurt” is built on a more dynamic base with more frequent speedy escapades; and “Downward” is another lively cut with energetic guitarisms galore which even offer something more twisted and technical in the second half. “The Healing” is another ten-ton “hammer”, an over 9-min “sleeper” with pensive doomy configurations and infectious melodies. The antidote to this slightly monotonous saga is “Destination Devastation” which vigorous riffage is more preferable although “Misjudged” is quick to bring things back to more sombre, darker waters. “Warchitect” nearly reaches the 9-min mark, too, but it does this in a more acceptable manner with faster-paced decisions and a wider array of time and tempo changes. “Blood Prophet” is a brilliant technical thrasher, a fine symbiosis of melodic and intricate hooks admirably sustaining the up-tempo throughout, all the way to “Exodust” which is built on the same jumpy principles the guys thrashing with renovated vigour and enthusiasm producing another impressive contribution to the progressive thrash fodder. The same can also be said about the closing “The Peace Paradox” which again provides some entertainment for the headbangers amongst the elaborate riff-patterns and the intriguing twists and turns one of which is the inclusion of nice clean vocals which appear to intercept the not very striking main semi-shouty death metal ones.

The balance between the old and the new tools of expression has been well achieved the guys doing this unintentionally, this process coming naturally as an aftermath from the compositional layouts. The slower heavier moments by all means dominate, but this makes the livelier sections even more attractive as again the blend has been pulled out successfully without too many overbearing earth-shattering sprawls. More of the same came two years later in the form of a “Sea of Red” where the approach had become more death metal-fixated albeit equally as appealing and engaging. The band had found their staple way of entertaining the audience, and had voted to stick to it without any radical alterations. However, four years down the line the situation had changed to an extent, but not for the matter… sorry, better; “Matter” offered a drier, more mechanized sound without any particular stylish flourishes, the band sounding like any other modern thrash/death metal practitioner out there with not much to remind of their more intriguing delivery of old.

Although the guys are still active, they have opted to branch out into other projects recently, like the modern progressive metallers Codex, for example, whose only effort so far (“The Peace Paradox”, 2015) not surprisingly features the closer of the album reviewed here, only modified a bit to fit the more sterile ways of expression. The thrash/death metal formation Skeletor is another project where the guys tear it loose and play much more stripped-down old school stuff just for the fun of it, with elements of both crossover and groove. Whatever makes them happy… until the next portion of heavy belligerent, militaristic designs.