Every Architects album ranked from worst to best

Architects in 2022
(Image credit: Ed Mason)

British metalcore heroes Architects have been one of modern metal’s greatest success stories. Starting out in the mid-00s as part of the UK’s underground hardcore scene, the Brighton band have experienced triumphs, missteps, victories and, with the death of guitarist Tom Searle in 2018, literal loss during their journey to becoming an influential, arena-headlining powerhouse. Their back catalogue is studded with highlights, but which is highest? Here's all ten Architects albums released to date, ranked from worst to best.

Louder line break

10. Nightmares (2006)

The band's debut album, and only release to feature original vocalist Matt Johnson, is a decent enough mathcore album, and probably does enough to be labelled a very good record when considered alongside the company it was keeping at the time. That said, Architects have a far higher level of quality in their discography than most other bands of their era, and in the context of today, it feels much more like an interesting curio than an essential release. Still, if you are a fan of early Dillinger Escape Plan or long for the days of Johnny Truant and Beecher, the likes of Minesweeper will put a smile on your face for sure.

9. The Here And Now (2011)

Architects' only real, genuine career misstep — an album that knocked them down the pecking order, only to have them recover spectacularly a year later. The Here And Now isn’t actually a bad record by any stretch of the imagination, but it does see the band not playing to their strengths with enough regularity. The punkier likes of Delete, Rewind aren’t rubbish, but the fantastic riff and pace of the song is somewhat undermined by a far too sickly-sweet chorus, and the emo-tinged An Open Letter To Myself just feels weird on an Architects record. The band deserve great credit for refusing to stagnate and for taking a risk, but on this occasion, it didn’t quite pay off.

8. Ruin (2007)

The band’s first album with vocalist Sam Carter and a considerable step up from debut album Nightmares. Gone were the more blatant Dillinger-worshiping parts, and in their place came a more metallic, weightier sound, and a far more dynamically interesting level of darkness. Obviously, bringing in a world class vocalist like Carter was always going to help things, but the production of the riffs on a song like the sublime Heartless pointed Architects in the right direction. Still very much worth your time. 

7. Daybreaker (2012)

An integral step on the road to where they are today, Daybreaker came almost immediately after the confusion surrounding the aftermath of The Here And Now, and helped to address the downward curve. Opener The Bitter End may have had fans thinking that Architects were doubling down on their more melodic tendencies, but as soon as the wonderfully anthemic and superbly heavy Alpha Omega followed, any worries they may have had completely vanished. It was also the point in the band’s career where their music began to reflect the political and socio-political nature of their beliefs. They may have gone on to better it, but Daybreaker is an essential part of the Architects story.

6. Holy Hell (2018)

In the aftermath of the tragic death of band leader Tom Searle, Architects had to regroup and start again. The results of that traumatic period can be heard on Holy Hell — a sorrow-filled, soaring, yet ultimately beautiful record. Far more melodic, and with a new found sheen in production, Holy Hell stretched Architects into broader sonic realms while presented a perfectly crafted tribute to Tom, both as man and musician. In the years since the album’s release, pretty much every metalcore band on the planet have had a go at ripping off the incredible Doomsday, all of who have failed miserably.

5. For Those That Wish to Exist (2021)

The 2020s was a decade of highs and lows for Architects – one that saw them impacted by tragedy as their star rose to stellar new levels. Their first album of the new decade tweaks the formula laid down on predecessor Holy Hell, rather than reinventing it, embracing their status as an arena band, doubling down on the blockbuster choruses and adding orchestral swells and unashamed grandeur to their sonic arsenal. There are also moments that provide a through-line to their past, presenting this record as the sound of a band utterly at ease with what they have become - even if it was at odds with what a small section of their fanbase wanted them to be by this point.

4. The Classic Symptoms Of A Broken Spirit (2022)

Following in the footsteps of their peers in Bring Me The Horizon by streamlining their songwriting, polishing up the production a step further and refining the more grandiose elements that had seeped into For Those That Wish To Exist, Architects produced one of the finest arena metal records of the last few years. The likes of Deep Fake, Tear Gas and When We Were Young sound absolutely colossal, perfectly honing the organic-industrial noise that the band had previously established with Animals while laying down some of the most earwormy choruses of the band's career. If Holy Hell and ...Wish To Exist helped elevate Architects to arena status, ...Broken Spirit confirmed that they absolutely belong there.

3. Hollow Crown (2009)

The absolute A-grade example of early Architects. After a couple of promising albums that showed plenty of growth, Architects finally announced themselves as a band to be taken very seriously with Hollow Crown. This is as savage as anything the band have ever put their name to, while showing exceptional levels of ingenuity within their riffs and songwriting. They may not lean into this type of material as often these days, but the likes of Every Last Breath and Follow The Water have lost absolutely none of their potency. The old school fan's number one choice, and with good reason: Hollow Crown destroys.

2. Lost Forever // Lost Together (2014)

With Daybreaker restoring confidence in the Architects camp, 2014 saw the release of an album of such brilliance that it is as tight a toss-up imaginable between our number one and number two spot. Lost Forever // Lost Together is a world class record, full of brawn, brains, subtle electronic colouring, riffs that could strip paint and some of the most anthemic moments in Architects' career. Any album that can open with a one-two-three punch of Gravedigger, Naysayer and Broken Cross is already onto a winner. The way that Youth Is Wasted On The Young and The Distant Blue sees the album slow down for its final moments also showed that the band had perfected their dynamic range. 

1. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016)

One of the most emotionally-charged and moving albums in the history of heavy music, Architects' seventh album, and Tom Searle’s swansong, is a genuinely essential, classic record. From the opening roar Sam Carter lets out on the breakneck Nihilist, all the way through to the closing eight-minute-plus post-rock-meets-industrial metal journey of closer Memento Mori, the album is possibly the most complete piece of music the band have ever recorded. Put frankly, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us is as close to a perfect metal record as one can imagine. Their meld of ambient noise, savage tech-metal and pure emotional openness had never sounded so vital

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.

With contributions from