Architects have shared another piece of their exploration of grief with the release of “Royal Beggars”. Following on from “Hereafter”, the UK five piece pull listeners to the sidelines of a numbed existence, presumably in response to the death of their bandmate and brother Tom Searle. The new track features sixth on Architects’ upcoming album Holy Hell, releasing on 9th November via Epitaph Records.
Finding value in pain, Architects aren’t shying away from creatively sharing what they’ve been going through. Drummer Dan Searle admitted that he “didn’t deal with it at all” in the first months after Tom’s death, that he “ignored it and just tried to cope”. I feel that the attempts to cope are what we’re privy to in both the track and music video of “Royal Beggars”, as well as subsequent rage toward the closed ears and eyes they received in response.
Directed by Lewis Cater, “Royal Beggars” takes us visually into close quarters with the members of Architects, clearly saddened. We’re shown individual coping mechanisms in action, such as career/money, TV, drugs, anger. Progressively worsening, it’s as though we see a sped up timeline of these coping mechanisms in action, where initial distraction or numbing turns more aggressive use, ultimately leading to self-injury. They’re literally harming themselves in attempts to find an escape from the emotional pain. And no one is coming to save them from themselves.
With the word choice ‘royal beggars’, I wondered if Architects were referring to something of a caged existence. Some might say that they are existing in something of a loftier/better position than their deceased friend, yet they’re daily being raked over emotional coals, and living without hope, faith, or solutions. Alive and “Left for dead”, they are merely going through the motions of existing. It’s uncomfortable to see that the only people that come to them are unhelpful; providing additional pills and drink, or a mere tissue to wipe away the externally apparent ‘problem’, while the core pain/sadness/anger remains.
“Are you listening? You may not have noticed, we have totally lost our way.”
Slow, hefty riffs and enraged screams of “Royal Beggars” form the darkness that comes paired with the lightness of floaty vocals over synth melodies. The track is a study in contrasts, which may be jarring to some listeners, having piano and gentle harmonies as present as heaven-shaking screams of frustration.
As a listener, I found the visuals combined with the momentarily delicate honesty in conjunction with the more emphatic screams to be powerfully moving. The beautiful calls for someone to notice what they’re going through (which soon burst into full rage) was heartwrenching. Was the single white flower becoming progressively covered in blood something that had bloomed over time, or was it simply another weak attempt to solve the problem?
Screaming hard (“overflowing with rage”), the heartaching track calls for recognition and freedom from the invisible cage they’re encased within. It’s yet another powerful track from Architects, which further enhances curiosity about what Holy Hell has to offer.
Watch “Royal Beggars” below. Pre-orders are available now via: https://ffm.to/architects_holyhell
[Architects image courtesy of Ed Mason]