Uncompromising and ravenously intrusive, Open the Hearts the first album from Polish black metallers Architect of Disease is an incitement which without firing up the passions to the fullest blaze is a compelling and inventive examination of the senses. A web of melodic toxicity and sonic voracity within oppressive and blackened emotive atmospheres permeates ears and beyond across the seven track length of the release, making for an intimidating and captivating tempest of sound and intent. It is not always an easy listen or is able to grip the imagination with the same tenacity throughout but Open The Hearts is an album which heavily pleases and persistently lures attention back to its skilful persuasion.
Coming out of Łódź, Architect Of Disease emerged at the tail of 2011, rising from the demise of Iugulatus when vocalist Balrog left the band. The rest of the band decided to carry on but with a new name. 2012 saw them enter the studio to record Open The Hearts with new vocalist Wilku alongside guitarists Markiz and Matys, bassist Morbid M., and drummer Wojtass. Since the recording Wojtass has left the band to be replaced by Michal whilst the album itself marks Architect Of Disease out as deserving plenty of attention.
The release opens with Leviathan Prayer, an immediately rigorous charging encounter with sinewed crafted riffs and equally imposing rhythms. As hoarsely throated raw vocals enter the scene, the song takes a step back in its gait to venture into more of a prowl. It is a momentary thing though as the track soon pushes its accelerator again before seamlessly entwining both attacks across its remaining exacting body. The rhythmic work of Wojtass impresses as forcibly as the rich designs cast by the guitars, both enslaving attention upon which the less accessible but ultimately persuasive vocals squall venomously. It is a dramatic and gripping start swiftly built upon by Bones Regime, its ferocious opening a searing provocation for ears and emotions. There are similarities between the track and its predecessor in its structure and its incitement of certainly riffs and drums, something which across the album is a tempering defusing of the invention otherwise sculpted, but it cannot prevent the track from setting a new plateau for the enthralling encounter.
Both In the Blaze of Havoc and Without Divine Intervention roar and abrase with voracious animosity and virulent hostility, the first of the two unveiling its predation through bewitching sonic strands of endeavour and a similarly contagious core groove within a blistering ferocity. Its successor brings a heavier heavy metal vehemence to bear on ears as it launches its presence straight at the jugular. With a vitriolic groove and raging vocals, the song soon has a vindictive swagger and stride to its resourceful savagery with the bass a gloriously testy and dark throated instigator. The best track on the album, it stomps and stalks with bestial intent and muscular rabidity whilst showing more of the individual skills of the band members, their songwriting, and the potential still to be fully tapped.
The title track lacks the impact and addictive nature of the previous triumph but still makes for a riveting violation with its melodic weaves and ill-tempered fury especially the evocative slip into an atmospheric peace mid-way which is subsequently smothered by the rabid heart and assault of the song. The track leaves on an inhospitable but magnetic climax which is followed by the merciless and surly Rejection of the World, another track which arguably does not give enough diversity within itself and against other tracks but nevertheless makes for a rough-handling potent temptation.
The fifteen minute plus Devour the Sun brings the release to a potent conclusion. The song is a crawling pestilence which malevolently embraces every thought and emotion, slowly seducing and consuming their hope with its depressive intensity and malignant heart. It is too long to enslave personal attention throughout but when it does the track is an absorbing rancor which again impressively provides a portrait of the band’s skills, imagination, and promise.
Open the Hearts has plenty to feed the wants of all black and melodic extreme metal fans. It may not be an album to set the passions into overload but it is easily a deeply enjoyable release to mark Architect of Disease out as a band to watch very closely.
Open the Hearts is available via The End of Time Records now!
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