The 02 London Brixton Academy is the final tour date on what has been an emotional rollercoaster for Brighton Metalcore legends Architects. Playing this sold out venue is something they’ve always dreamed about as a band. Unfortunately as many will know the chief songwriter and founding member Tom Searle passed away a few months back from Cancer, and as such, tonight has an air of being a testament to all the work he has put into the band and the UK scene.
Hardcore punks Stick to your Guns first bound onto the stage with opening track ‘Nobody’ from their 2015 release ‘Disobedient’. They are well received with the crowd, who feed off the energy of front man Jesse Barnet. An explosive set of thrashing riffs and pummeling breakdowns shows why they are one of the biggest up and coming hardcore bands, with a raucous live performance, they are the perfect opening band to get the crowd moving.
Southampton-based Bury Tomorrow then show us what they got, although they have a lot more melody, the energy is still churning with the crowd singing the choruses to ‘Lionheart’ and ‘An Honorable Reign’ back with gusto. After the two vibrant sets, the mood sets and the crowd are awaiting headliners Architects to imminently destroy the stage.
All our Gods have abandoned us is an angry record, and this shows in Architects’ live performance, from when the curtain drops into album opener ‘Nihilist’ to the more brooding ‘Deathwish’, the band deliver a performance which matches the album in intensity and technicality. This is further cemented when the band blast into a rendition of one of their mainstays from the ‘Hollow Crown’ days, ‘Early Grave’. The wall of death that Sam Carter commands proves that they are no bubblegum run of the mill scene band. They are a metal force to be taken seriously.
Musically, the band is on top form tonight, with Sams screams sounding more ferocious than ever whilst the sharp fills and impending china blasts from drummer Dan Searle sound incredibly tight and clear. Fill-in guitarist Josh Middleton from Sylosis had a massive hole to fill on this tour, but was able to prove himself a match with the riffing prowess of Adam Christianson.
The audience were also fantastic at tonight’s show, screaming back lyrics into Sams face louder than him and proceeding to stay dead silent when he gave his speech about how far they had come as a band. After the encore, it felt fitting for Dan Searle to give a speech about the band and the passing of his brother.
‘I’m not as good as this as Sam is….not done it as much’, Dan started, although with a slight nervousness about him, he was received with open arms. This was 8 and half minutes of pure heartfelt emotion, something that would never grace the set of any other Metalcore band. The crowds chanted Toms name back to his brother showing their solidarity, as well as with sporadic outbursts of ‘We love Tom!’ Dan went on to muse: ‘Some of the hardest times I’ve had over the last few months, I’ve tried to remind myself, that if life can be this painful, it must have the potential to be pretty fucking amazing is well.’ Although something similar can probably be seen posted on anyone random throwaway Facebook feed, this sound bite from Dan Searle comes from a place of heart and meaning, and is something the crowd definitely felt. As Dan goes onto say; find what you love, and just go for it…make the most of this life, you’d never know when it might end, we are left feeling inspired and lucky to be there, at such a gig where such intimate sentiments were shared.
The band thank their brothers in Stray from the Path, Stick to your guns and Bury Tomorrow one last time before exploding into the raging and unrestrained Gone with the wind. Tonight we have witnessed something special, not just a gig, but an ethereal celebration of a musical legend that had affected many around the world, for which his band have done extreme justice.