Still firmly in the club that thought the last Architects effort was actually pretty bang on, it was quite interesting to hear the claims that ‘Daybreaker’ was Architects “return to form”, especially as it was coming from a few of the same mouths that were more than happy to publicly hail ‘The Here And Now’ as amazing when it first arrived.

Anyway; a one year (ish) turn around for a follow up is impressive regardless, and the sense of urgency that ‘Daybreaker’ arrives with is pretty staggering. This is a band that feel like they have something to prove, and have to win people back after a poor album, which really shouldn’t be the case. That they seem so keen to move on from a record which balanced aspects of their sound so well speaks volumes, and ‘Daybreaker’ does feel like an edgy record because of it.

All of that, of course, is irrelevant if the new album is a giant turd, and that is one thing that ‘Daybreaker’ most definitely isn’t. After the sluggish introductory track ‘The Bitter End’ introduces a beefed up sound and punishing vocals from the off, ‘Alpha/Omega’ kicks the doors in with some of the band’s most impressive guitar work to date, and it’s also worth noting here that Sam Carter’s screams just dig a deeper and deeper hole in your soul with each delivery as the album goes on – it’s a testament to how important the band feel this record is to their future (especially as they’re a member down at time of writing).

All in all, the crux of the matter with ‘Daybreaker’ is how it shapes up to the previous record. The fact is that the band haven’t abandoned the sound found on ‘The Here And Now’ altogether; yes, they’ve toned back many of the “softer” moments for the crunch of ‘These Colours Don’t Run’, but tracks like ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat’ still carry those melodic parts so scorned by the more vocal critics of the band, but they’re to be found sandwiched between much more aggressive instrumentation.

‘Behind The Throne’ feels a little superfluous sandwiched between the crunch of ‘Outsider Heart’ and ‘Devil’s Island’, and ‘Unbeliever’ closes the album on a bit of a “soft” note considering the savage ‘Father Of Lead’ that precedes it, but ‘Daybreaker’ should just about do enough to silence the boo crew that didn’t connect with ‘The Here And Now’, and is certainly strong enough to draw in a slew of new recruits.

Overall, it’s an impressive set of songs, and the “turning up to eleven” should shut a few unruly mouths. It’s certainly more interesting than their previous effort lyrically, and there’s no doubt that the guitar work is a step up as well. Whether it’s a case of “Architects being back” is another thing altogether as ‘Daybreaker’ doesn’t feel like that much of an unnatural progression from ‘The Here And Now’, it’s just got a few more teeth to its jaw. Most definitely worth giving another shot if you weren’t impressed last time around, and certainly a record that’s strong enough to cement the band’s next few years.

TOM AYLOTT