Can I admit something? I wasn’t a huge fan of The Raven and the Reaping. As an old school fan I was really hoping that the Famine (whom featured 3 members of Embodyment) would be releasing Embrace the Eternal part 2 and the Raven and the Reaping had no chance at pleasing me.
Exit Kris McCaddon; enter Nick Nowell and the Famine’s new record The Architects of Guilt.
The Architects of Guilt is brutal. Not only in sound but also in lyrical content. While I don’t find the artwork as disturbing or evil as most people (and I guess the bands point about cultural desensitization lives on in me) the artwork does reveal what you’re getting into when you listen to this album.
The New Hell kicks the album off and sets the tone for the listener that this is a new direction then The Raven and the Reaping. The speed is gone. Well not gone, but lessened. Ad Mortem musically has elements that are similar to songs from The Raven and the Reaping.
On the production side, Architects of Guilt is more to my liking. While the drums are still sampled, the machine gun style drumming that plagued the Raven and the Reaping is gone and that’s fine with me. While the album might not appear to be more technical but slowing the songs down, it gives both drummer Mark Garza and guitarist Andrew Godwin more range to show their skills.
The constant speed is replaced with more technical drumming. The guitar solos have a lot more range on this record. While there still isn’t really an emphasis on bass, Jonny Richardson does bring more in the low-end department then was featured on the bands debut.
My minor issue is with vocalist Nick Nowell. His lows growls are fantastic and he has more range then McCaddon had. But his overall vocal sound is at times unpleasant for me to listen to. It’s not a hindrance to the record and doesn’t ruin anything. It’s just my minor issue.
Overall the Architects of Guilt is a fantastic record. Every song is hard hitting and this is the darkest christian record I’ve heard in a long time. Nowell’s lyrics don’t pull any punches as he uses his platform to speak against issues in the church that bug him. He doesn’t pull punches.
If you like technical death metal this is an album to pick up. If you weren’t super into the Famine’s debut I recommend giving the Architects of Guilt a listen. It’s a great step in the right direction. Is it deserving of the perfects scores I’ve seen… It’s really close. A must have for metal fans.