The Famine: The Architects of Guilt

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The Famine: The Architects of Guilt
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The Famine: The Architects of Guilt
Death Metal, Metalcore
Solid State Records
February 15th, 2011
Release length: 40:04
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The Famine is one of those bands that actually manage to play Death Metal, as well as Metalcore, without coming off as a blunt Deathcore act that rips off Job for a Cowboy, Whitechapel or Emmure, and for that the band has already earned some respect for me. While still not the most unique band in either style, the group formed back in 2006, and since has been signed to Solid State Records for their first full-length effort The Raven and the Reaping in 2008, and now their follow-up, The Architects of Guilt. While their first full-length was met with varying criticisms, adorned by the casual fans of the style, and it seems that the band has been lost on the regular Metal fan in general. So, does The Architects of Guilt have what it takes to show this band isn’t just another lame entry into the Death/Metalcore world that everyone thought pretty much died when Deathcore became the “it” thing?

Walking into an album and hearing a distinct difference between Death Metal and Metalcore is always a breath of fresh air. There’s no real need to worry about senseless, insanely long and as thrilling as watching paint dry one string repetitive breakdowns in the album, and that’s typically the case with this kind of effort. While this makes the band stand out nicely, there’s still some influences taken from other bands in the varying Death Metal genres/sub genres. The main thing is that the general Deathcore heaviness is present in some songs, especially the breakdowns, such as the one on “Turner Classic Diaries”, which comes off as really intense, and is well done, but sadly nothing we haven’t heard before. The general technical/Mathcore brides that appear do find the band leaning more towards an Emmure approach to the music, but it’s executed in a manner that keeps the song from sounding like one long, somewhat dull breakdown, though a good chunk of the song is. But, in it’s defence, it’s entertaining, and honestly is the only song like this on the entire recording. Aside from that, the vocal performance often feels very reminiscent of The Black Dahlia Murder, which is evident right from the start on the crushing “The New Hell”, which seems like this band’s attempt at writing a unique take on Bloodbath‘s “Brave New Hell” sometimes with the music.

Those are just some similarities that can be picked up from just the start of the album. As it continues, there’s not really anything else that needs to be pointed out for comparisons of carbon copy ideas, and overall the music is often tight and well performed. The vocals show a great deal of range as well, having the higher, rhaspier style common associated with Black Metal, and a deeper Death Metal gutteral approach that isn’t as deep as it should be for the music on this release. While the gutturals typically stay at about the same range, the rhaspier wails used have some varying levels, sometimes coming off a little more stern and commanding, or just being flat out screamed at the top of the vocalist’s lungs to amp up the intensity of the song. Those work so perfectly on the pounding “VII The Famine”, which just hammers away at the listener with such intensity and speed that it’ll make you want to start ripping off faces. The chorus to the song slows it down a bit, and does wind up a bit of a buzzkill, but it feels fluid and offers a more traditional Death Metal bridge with gutteral vocals before hammering back into the intense, blistering Death Metal once more to complete this stand out track.

The only real grip of this really stems from the drumming. “Bigger Cages, Longer Chains!” is an intense song that hammers away at the listener, and the pounding drums often work well to increase the intensity to the song, but the constant cymbol crashes seem very similar between one song and another, and can often just feel out of place, like wtih the track where they simply do not match up with the fast pounding sensation of the double bass kicks and the speed, as well as the crushing sound of the guitars. Aside that, it’s sad to hear such an intense song like “VII The Fraudulent”, and only ever reach that level of sweet intensity and speed on one track here. “A Pavement of Good Intentions” is just that, a song that tries to mesh the same concepts as “VII the Fraudulent” without sounding similar, coming off as a good intention itself, but while the energy that matches every other song is present here, it doesn’t quite equal that of the previous song, or anything that makes it instantly turn heads in interest. Some more songs like this would have been fantastic, since most of the songs here are simply at a standard mid-tempo to faster mid-tempo speed that is broken up quite often with slower parts that, fortunately, never feel forced into the mix. But, while more faster tracks would have been nice, some slower songs would have helped too. The closing song “To The Teeth” is a slow paced Death Metal butcher of a song, having a very crushing atmosphere that sounds great, though the track seems to just cut out and feels like it’s not finished at the end, and really stands out on this release, leaving the listener wanting more of this approach by the band, but sadly it doesn’t exist outside this one song.

While the material on The Architects of Guilt may not be the most original, there’s no denying the energy that the group brings with them for this recording. There’s only a few times that the recording doesn’t necessarily hold a unique atmosphere to it, and only of those are really traumatic to the release, being the Emmure sounding “Turner Classic Diaries”, but outside the not-so-unique aspect, the song is well done and comes off enjoyable, though chances are good will start to grow old rather fast. Outside that, the music on here is often heavy and a general faster pace, though not many songs are as fast as they could be, and gutturals just don’t quite reach a deep enough level to perfectly match the music, though they are deep enough that they still work. There’s plenty of variety on the release, and the vocals have a nice range, coupled with some great music throughout, making The Architects of Guilt by The Famine an album worth checking out, and perhaps enough to help the band claw their way into a little more notariety in the Metal world.


01. The New Hell – 3:33
02. Ad Mortem – 3:23
03. We Are the Wolves – 3:57
04. Turner Classic Diaries – 3:25
05. Bigger Cages, Longer Chains! – 3:56
06. The Crown and the Holy Sea – 3:03
07. VII The Fraudulent – 3:04
08. A Pavement of Good Intentions – 4:11
09. A Fragile Peace – 3:44
10. Pyrithion House – 3:25
11. To the Teeth – 4:21
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

The Famine
The Famine

Digital review copy of this release provided by Solid State Records.