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Ghost of the Salt Water Machines

Architect

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Album Review

If thrash brought punk into metal, hardcore brought metal into punk — and hardcore-related music reached a whole new level of metallic viciousness with the metalcore explosion of the 1990s and 2000s. Metalcore is not for the faint of heart; in fact, metalcore has taken hardcore to such a ferocious extreme that some moshers who have no problem with '80s hardcore find metalcore to be too heavy, too harsh, and too abrasive. And those who feel that way about metalcore will certainly be intimidated by Architect's second album, Ghost of the Salt Water Machines, which is best described as metalcore with a touch of noise rock. Between lead singer Keith Allen's screaming vocals, Architect's claustrophobic density, and the band's unapologetically violent musicianship, this is truly a nasty, clobbering sledgehammer of a CD. It is also a very sociopolitical effort; in contrast to all the metalcore bands that are angrily introspective, Architect are angry about social and political matters, and Allen is in an absolute rage as he screams his way through scorching tracks like "House of 1000 Habeas Corpses," "Death and Taxes," "The Dog and Pony Show," and "Uninventing the Wheel." Unlike screamo discs, Ghost of the Salt Water Machines doesn't offer an extreme vocals/clean vocals contrast or a brutality/melody contrast; this 2008 recording is devoid of mercy. Metalcore experienced considerable saturation in 2008 — actually, hardcore-related music in general (be it metalcore or screamo/melodic hardcore/post-hardcore) became more plentiful than ever in the 2000s — and 2008 had more than its share of forgettable metalcore albums. But Ghost of the Salt Water Machines, although not groundbreaking, is a worthwhile disc that is definitely a cut above many of 2008's metalcore releases.

Ghost of the Salt Water Machines, Architect
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