Completely remove any misguided pre-conceptions that this takes them back to their days of Hollow Crown. The melodic ferocity has very much returned; but with subtle hints towards the rather polarising The Here and Now and a sense of maturity in song construction, you have a wildly different and, at times, melodically beautiful album to experience.
It makes for a somewhat contradictory sound-scape that likens to their much earlier work. For instance, the briskly violent sound of These Colours Don't Run combined with the downright elegantly soaring guitar tapping in the background, echoing right through your very being makes for a niche-yet-delectable audio finesse, which is maintained consistently throughout the majority, while adopting an almost-Zeitgeist political agenda.
With attempts at subduing these swells of genius in the form of Behind The Throne falling short of the extremely high expectations set, this album does slightly fall victim to the same disjointedness that existed in The Here and Now, and the concluding track Unbeliever ends the whole affair with more of a low note. However, it all sort of adds to the varied repetoire that Architects are demonstrating throughout this album, and shows that they can move away from Hollow Crown without alienation.
It's no Ruin or Nightmares; but that isn't what is needed in a situation like this. What we have here is a bold return to form, and one of the best metal albums of 2012 so far. 8/10
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.