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Architects Of Victory - Architects Of Victory

=Staff's pick

Old Nick*
Hate To Love
Dead & Gone*
Slated ( instrumental )*

Genre Heavy Metal/Post-grunge
Dave Thomas
Tracks 5
Dave Thomas
Runningtime 27 Min.
Adam Carra
Release 17 July 2006
Tom Barker
Country Wales
Similar artists Metallica, Alice In Chains, early Pearl Jam

"What?!! A Welsh band that isn't Emo/Hardcore?!!" Formed in the seedy underbelly of the Swansea music scene (mid 2005), discontented with the present lack of decent and original bands in South Wales, A.O.V. is the project of two jamming units, resulting in music quite unlike anything else. The kind of band you think sound familiar, but not sure where from. (These lines are from the band themselves but I thought they sounded so well that I nicked them)

Every once in a while you hear something that sounds refreshing, and Architects Of Victory is that, complete with a naive feeling and with a sound as if the demo has been recorded live in the garage. However, there is something with this band that gives me a nice feeling of back to the roots and of a band that has a will and potential, but not really has the skills to make it all the way, yet.

Old Nick that starts the demo have a nice metal groove and it surely sounds familiar but it is hard to be precise from where. I hear the sludge of Corrosion Of Conformity with the groovy riffing and I also hear a bit of St. Anger by Metallica in this up-tempo song but with guitars that are more detailed. A good song with a nice groove and heavy riffing that could have needed some more power in the vocals that seem to be influenced by James Hetfield.

In the next song Hate To Love the vocals drift more towards late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley. Architects Of Victory is reminding of contemporary american hard rock with this ballad and unfortunately ballads of this kind are seldom good and I am afraid that this is not exactly any of the better ones either. The vocal flaws from Dave Thomas shine through and make it all come out a bit weak and it tends to sound un-tight in this post-grunge ballad. Dead & Gone on the other hand is an excellent example of a great ballad, and then you should know I am not that keen on ballads in general. But this kind of unplugged Pearl Jam meets Alice In Chains meets Nirvana song is done in the best type of early sounding grunge way. Somehow I come to think of the super-group Temple Of The Dog with this emotional sounding song and here the vocals could rather be compared with Hate To Love.

Epilogue is another track that is hard to nail down, mid-tempo and with traces of Stone Temple Pilots grunge, modern acts like Alter Bridge, and a dose of nu-metal as well as traditional metal. A decent song but apart from the guitar harmonies and riffing towards the end this has nothing that makes any lasting impressions. The last song Slated on the other hand does make a lasting impression. With this instrumental track they have saved the best to last and really show what they are capable of. This is some serious damn good old-school thrash, and moreover this song contains exactly what Metallica lacked on St. Anger as the sound is of the same but this has freaking guitars. Tom Barker has his way on the drums as if he was possessed by Lars Ulrich while the guitars blend melodic leads with brilliant knife sharp riffing.

Architects Of Victory is well on their way but still have a long way to go. There is much that needs improvement and perhaps the vocals are in the most urgent need for that. Moreover, they should perhaps define their sound a bit to make it more coherent. Although, with Slated they show that they might be capable of wonders. There is no question about that there is passion in these guys and they have the will, but their skills are not quite there yet.






6 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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