‘Architects’ Live @ Brighton Dome / 26.10.21

On paper this concert had the making of being a hugely important night in both Architects & Brighton’s live music calendar. A returning local band who’ve been mercilessly plugging away and doing their thing for 15+ years, touring relentlessly across the UK and achieving success internationally, while releasing 9 albums (4 for current label Epitaph) which have shown a progression and mature individuality, never being afraid to experiment & refusing to be pigeonholed with the generic Metalcore tag that was applied early in their career.

In 2016 tragedy struck the band after they lost founding member, guitarist and main songwriter Tom Searle, following a long battle with skin cancer, at the age of only 28. The decision to continue must have been incredibly difficult, not withstanding the fact that his twin brother & band co-founder Dan Searle is the drummer. But continue they did, using the band and it’s music as a therapy for their loss, while continuing to work hard on what Tom had been instrumental in building over the years. They initially came back fighting with the acclaimed ‘Holy Hell’ record in 2018, and saw their popularity rise even further with the subsequent tour cycle closing prior to the Covid pandemic striking.

Fast forward to Oct 2020 & Architects returned once more with the single ‘Animals’, followed in Feb 2021 with their highest charting album to date ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’. This was the first not to feature any writing or playing from Tom, with a diverse & experimental blend of tracks, which stray from their Metalcore roots further than ever before. A captivating collection of music, sometimes enhanced with strings & synths, that has taken the heavy rock scene by storm.

An acclaimed live set recorded & streamed from the Royal Albert Hall in Nov 2020 initially provided the platform for the group to showcase their new tracks in a concert setting (albeit with no crowd). But just as the live music industry was starting to find its feet again this summer after some 18 months, news came of a delay to their booked Autumn arena tour which was pushed back into 2022.

Frustrations at not being able to to take the show on the road & continue their momentum, led to the announcement of a smaller UK run of 6 dates (in more modest sized venues), finishing with this first hometown show for the band since 2018.

Due to start the show at 20:15 (with no support act) the band were a little late to the stage, which only increased the anticipation for the packed crowd, who had rapidly filled the venue & bar when the doors opened an hour earlier. As the musicians took to the stage with a haunting introduction, the crowd instantly erupted as they flew into ‘Black Lungs’ from their new album, quickly followed by ‘Discourse is Dead’, before moving onto crowd pleaser ‘Nihilist’.

Their 17 song career spanning set, featured fan favourites from most of their albums such as ‘Gravedigger’ (Lost Forever // Lost Together), ‘Royal Beggars’ & ‘Doomsday’ (Holy Hell), ‘Gone with the Wind’ (All Of Our Gods Have Abandoned Us), and plenty of new material that the band had no doubt been itching to perform in front of a live audience, including the two tracks which have recently exploded online for them ‘Dead Butterflies’ and their final showpiece ‘Animals’.

In between songs, vocalist Sam Carter was clearly enjoying singing in front of a home crowd, engaging with the audience in subjects from local drinking spots, to Brighton & Hove Albion football club, while finding the energy to also conduct the mosh pit at times. On a deeper level his chat included referencing the recent spate of spiking incidents that have blighted the local nightlife (featured heavily in the press in recent days), while also encouraging all to look out for any friends who may be currently suffering with their mental health. A fitting tribute to their fallen brother also provided a poignant moment, with the crowd chanting the guitarists name while the band solemnly looked on.

This group of extraordinarily talented musicians were tight from the first song to the last, the sound in the venue was spot on, the visuals and lights were captivating, and the crowd kept up their high energy until the very last moment, before spilling out into the Brighton Laines, hot, sweaty and with smiles on their faces. A superb evening for all, and a sure sign that live music is back and in full effect.


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