Architects announce departure of guitarist Josh Middleton

Josh Middleton playing guitar live
(Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns via Getty)

British metalcore outfit Architects have announced the departure of their electric guitar player, Josh Middleton.

The news was announced in a statement posted to the band’s official Instagram account, which said the split was amicable as the two parties agreed “to go our separate ways”.

As such, the ESP signature artist leaves Architects after a six-year stint with the band, having joined following the death of the band’s founding guitarist, Tom Searle, in 2017.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Josh’s time in the band has come to an end,” the statement read. “It has gradually become apparent that we need to go our separate ways, but we remain close friends. 

“Josh was a life raft for the band after we lost Tom and he gave us a way to keep the band alive through the hardest experience [of] our lives. We will always be grateful to him for that.”

In leaving Architects, Middleton will focus on his other metal project Sylosis, in which he serves as lead guitarist  – a role he’s held down for more than two decades, having founded the band in 2000 – as well as lead vocalist since 2010.

“We wish him the best in his future endeavours,” Architects’ statement continued, “and we suggest that everyone keeps an eye out for the new Sylosis record later this year.”

Sylosis released their latest single, Deadwood, earlier this year, and have been teasing even more material ahead of what will be their sixth studio album.

After the band took a brief hiatus when Middleton joined Architects, Sylosis returned in 2020 with their first album in five years, with the virtuoso once telling Total Guitar how he almost came close to calling it a day entirely on his main project.

“I was really unhappy in the band and felt I’d boxed myself in, musically,” he revealed. “So I basically told the guys I didn’t really want to do it anymore.

“I actually had the idea of starting a new band and was already writing music from a fresh perspective, then I realized it wasn’t too different to Sylosis, so I came back round to thinking it could work. I guess I needed to think of it as a new band to realize I didn’t need to be worried about doing whatever I wanted.”

As for his time with Architects, Middleton contributed to three studio albums: Holy Hell (2018), For Those That Wish to Exist (2021) and The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit (2022).

Between those first two albums, Middleton formalized his partnership with ESP, collaborating with the metal guitar specialist to create his ESP LTD JM-II signature guitar.

If Middleton’s recent teases are to be believed, though, it’s possible another ESP signature model could be in the works for the now-exclusive Sylosis player, who gave fans a glimpse of a radical new ESP body shape earlier this year.

Architects haven’t yet revealed who will be replacing Middleton, so head over to their Instagram page for future updates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.