Architects – Daybreaker (2012)

In the months leading up to the release of their fifth studio album, Daybreaker, Architects released several outstanding singles. “Devil’s Island” and “These Colours Don’t Run” were two emotionally-charged tracks decrying the current state of affairs in England and America, respectively, and were reminiscent of the sound that Architects had established with Hollow Crown. To those that were discontent with the band’s previous effort, The Here and Now, these singles were a welcome change. The rest of Daybreaker, however, does not meet the expectations of many and is crippled by weak filler material.

Before the release of Daybreaker, Architects made two fatal mistakes. Their first mistake was releasing all of the best tracks as singles. Aside from “Devil’s Island”, “These Colours Don’t Run”, and, to a lesser extent, “Alpha Omega”, the tracks on Daybreaker are pretty unremarkable. Their second mistake was stating that Daybreaker was going to be their heaviest release yet. Considering that this is the band that released Nightmares and Hollow Crown, that is no small feat. After hearing the singles, however, many fans began to think it was possible. What was promised was the heaviest Architects album to date, but instead we’re left with an album that has more worthless tracks than The Here and Now.

My biggest issue with Daybreaker is the filler. There are four tracks that I consider to be filler: “The Bitter End”, “Truth, be Told”, “Behind the Throne”, and “Unbeliever”. Four tracks. On an album with eleven total. That’s more than one third and that is far too much. Tracks with a lot of passion and energy, such as “Devil’s Island”, are usually followed up by a soft interlude that serves no purpose other than breaking up the album’s flow. Due to their use of copious amounts of filler, Architects has to constantly build and rebuild the energy on Daybreaker. They succeed a few times, but it fails more often than not.

Not all of Daybreaker is bad, however. The three singles and “Feather of Lead” are very good tracks. “Daybreak”, “Outsider Heart”, and “Even if You Win, You’re Still a Rat” are all either mildly entertaining or slightly unforgettable. “Devil’s Island” is my personal favorite track and I think Architects would have benefited from using the same amount of passion and energy on that track throughout Daybreaker. Instead, the album starts softly, builds up a bit, falls flat on its face, picks itself back up, falls down again, reaches its apex with “Devil’s Island” and “Feather of Lead”, and then ends with a whimper. That’s not exactly the best way to go about the “heaviest album [they’ve] ever written.”

While Architects did a few things right with Daybreaker, they did far too many things wrong. The woeful amount of filler, coupled with the unfulfilled promise of an incredibly heavy album, makes Daybreaker largely unremarkable. If Architects could focus on writing more songs that have the passion behind “These Colours Don’t Run” and “Devil’s Island”, they would be onto something great.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews