Architects' new album the classic symptoms of a broken spirit takes its name from a lyric in a crusher of a hard rock anthem, “be very afraid.” With intricate guitar riffs, a phenomenal groove and Sam Carter’s signature vocals soaring overtop, the song exemplifies what fans have come to love about the band.
Many bands might not be so keen to rip it up and start again, especially when they’re on to a good thing. Finding yourself with a #1 album and selling out arenas is enough for some to repeat a winning formula. Architects however, are that shark that dies if it stops swimming. “It was definitely validating and felt really cool for like a day,” recalls drummer, producer and songwriter Dan Searle of hitting the top spot with For Those That Wish To Exist. “For a lot of the bucket list things you reach in any career, there’s a momentary gratification then you’re like, ‘What next?’ You just move on. By the time the album came out, my head was already in the mindset of ‘Broken Spirit’. That was where I was at.”
Searle notes how it was their albums Lost Forever/Lost Together, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, and Holy Hell that really “cemented what the band was about” and “took them to a new level” as a rock powerhouse and leaders of the UK’s metalcore scene – making it all the more “daunting” to reinvent themselves on the records that would follow. “Especially after we re-recorded ‘Wish To Exist’ at Abbey Road with an orchestra, I felt that we had to shelve the strings and all that stuff,” he says. “I wanted to make this album with a different aesthetic. We were enjoying working with the synths and doing stuff that we hadn't done before.”
As a band who never stop writing, the kernels of the songs that make up the classic symptoms of a broken spirit were already in progress before the ink had time to dry on the artwork of their last record. Architects were on a creative roll, and the record was born of that creative freedom. Produced by Dan Searle and Josh Middleton, with additional production from Sam Carter at Decon’s Middle Farm Studios and their own Brighton Electric Studios before being mixed by Zakk Cervini, the band were buoyed by finally being back in a room together after their last album was made mostly remotely due to COVID restrictions. The result was something altogether more “free, playful and spontaneous,” Searle explains.