Release date: February 15, 2011
February is shaping up to be a huge month for metal in 2011, and The Famine will be right there at the epicenter. Just over a year after the band parted ways with their initial vocalist Chris McCaddon, they are set to return in a massive way with the follow up to 2008’s debut, The Raven and the Reaping.
Bassist Nick Nowell has moved over to handle throat duties, and the band added Jonny ‘Christmas’ Richardson (Saboteur, The Monarch) to take over on bass.
McCaddon was not the band’s only purging in 2010. The Famine also endured having their studio burn down, losing all their studio gear and pre-production materials for the new album. But like true metalheads do, the band knuckled down and rose from the ashes even stronger and more pissed off.
You can hear that darkness and anger permeating The Architects of Guilt. This is a mean slab of fist-in-the-face death metal. There is plenty of groove and technical prowess, but at the heart of The Architects of Guilt is a maniacal expunging of emotion and rage, perhaps the result of what the band has endured of late. So it may be apt that the album’s first track is titled “The New Hell,” a brutal mother fucker of a song– “oh the horror!”
The band has already leaked a peak at “Ad Mortem.” The band pulls no punches on this one. It’s ripe with a devastating riff that harks back to the days of fellow Texas metallers, Pantera.
As you listen to this album you have to wonder why the band didn’t have Nowell singing to begin with. His vocals are ferocious and at times brutish as well. Meanwhile, newcomer Richardson helps bring a rock solid rhythm section together with skin pounder Mark Garza.
The Architects of Guilt was produced by D. Braxton Henry (Ex- Devourment) and mixed by Jason Suecof (Mutiny Within, The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, Charred Walls of the Damned). Any time Jason is involved with an album I anxiously wait to hear the guitar work. He brings his expansive talent to bear on every axe-wielder he works with, and inevitably he will pry the best out of them. Guitarist Andrew Godwin certainly lived up to my expectations on this record. His playing is dynamic and downright nasty in places. He has some shining showcase moments; one of my favorites is the eerie stretch run on “Turner Classic Diaries.” “The Crown and The Holy See” is another.
The album’s lyrics are aggressive and openly honest about the deception and decay in our government; “There is a special place in hell for people like you!”
The Architects of Guilt is largely different from their debut album, more focused, and certainly more corrosive in its delivery. From the ominous opening of “the New Hell,” to the sludgy and doomish closer, “To The Teeth,” The Famine have taken their game to the next level. The Architects of Guilt seethes with a raw caustic beauty.
The finishing touch to The Architects of Guilt is the darkly twisted album artwork.
If you’re looking for the generic banality of many bands of this ilk, look elsewhere, for The Famine are here to bloody their knuckles and shred your soul.
I almost hesitate to rate this album so soon, as I fear repeated listening will improve my fondness for it.
1. The New Hell
2. Ad Mortem
3. We Are The Wolves
4. Turner Classic Diaries
5. Bigger Cages, Longer Chains!
6. The Crown and The Holy See
7. VII The Fraudulent
8. A Pavement Of Good Intentions
9. A Fragile Peace
10. Pyrithion House
11. To The Teeth