Remember in 2009 when Architects released Hollow Crown? it sounded fresh, vital and genuine, and it made them one of the most influential British metal bands around. They followed it up with the much more mainstream friendly The Here And Now. Many fans and critics didn’t take too kindly to the album, but it was a very brave move for them to make that kind of album. You see, the best bands are only known as the ‘best bands’ because they evolve, and that’s what Architects tried to do on THAN. On Daybreaker however, there’s no evolution, there are no brave moves, there’s only the sound of a band playing it safe.
Would it be lazy of me to say that Daybreaker sounds just like Hollow Crown? Yes it would… But that doesn’t change the fact that Daybreaker sounds quite a lot like Hollow Crown.
Don’t get me wrong, if ANYONE else released this, it would be a solid 8 or 9/10 album. The vocals are at their usual high standard, the songwriting is incredible, the heavy bits are crushing and the melodic parts sound great. Songs like Alpha Omega and Devil’s Island are probably some of the best the band have written, and they’ll surely fit in perfectly in their live set. The slower songs, Behind The Throne and Unbeliever, are infinitely better than the attempts at ballads on THAN, but they sound like someone trying to rip off the title track from Hollow Crown. Daybreaker sounds like Architects have heard the criticism of their last album, and instead of fixing the problems, they’ve just regressed and tried to make the exact same album that made them famous in the first place.
The thing is, if this album was as good as Hollow Crown, you probably wouldn’t even notice the similarities, but it’s not. Part of the reason Hollow Crown was so successful was that it sounded so genuine, Daybreaker sounds forced. If I wanted to listen to Architects making this kind of album, I’d just listen to Hollow Crown. Daybreaker could have been so much more.