Architects’ For Those That Wish To Exist At Abbey Road is the perfect live album for 2022

Album review: UK metalcore kings Architects revive last year’s magisterial livestream at legendary London studio

Architects: For Those That Wish To Exist At Abbey Road album cover
(Image: © Epitaph)

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For Those That Wish To Exist was the most successful album of Architects’ career, scoring them a first ever UK No.1 album. Most bands would sit back and bask in the glory, but Architects have a restless creative spirit that lives inside of them, and they have arguably bettered the original version of the record with this live document.

Performed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, it not only shows just how much more tight and ferocious Architects are as a live band than they are on record, with Sam Carter’s voice rasping, cracking and soaring to an almost superhuman level, it adds even greater depth to the boldest, bravest and most challenging material of the band’s career. 

Much of this is down to the addition of the Parallax Orchestra to the session. Their sublime strings swoop and sway in a breathtaking manner, darting in and out between the gaps of the monstrous riff on the already classic Animals, making the heavy parts even more propulsive and the melodies even more elegant and euphoric. By the time you get to the wonderfully delicate Dying Is Absolutely Safe, the impact is so great that it’s like hearing the song for the first time again.

While plenty of bands have added strings to existing material in the past, this feels like one of the few times when the orchestra and the band have gelled together seamlessly, giving the listener an opportunity to hear one of the best heavy bands on the planet right now in rare form, and speaking in a brand-new tongue. Often live records can struggle to justify their existence, but not this one. …Abbey Road could very well prove to be the definitive versions of these songs.

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.