by Quentin Singer
After a very emotional past couple of years, UK band Architects have been on a stand-still with their career. The band lost its founding member, Tom Searle, in August of 2016 to cancer, and not knowing if they were going to continue as a band, Architects set out to complete one last run of dates in both Europe and America. The tour was a huge success, and gave breath to a new legacy for the band – one that would be without Tom, but for Tom. Around September of 2017, Architects had some big news for the metal and hardcore community. The group announced they were going to continue as a band, adding guitarist Josh Middleton (from Sylosis) as a permanent member. They released a brand new single entitled “Doomsday,” which would be the centerpiece for their upcoming winter tour.
Kicking off their US tour cycle on the east coast, Architects were able to rally up fans from all over the New England area for their Worcester show. This came as a huge surprise for me, because at around the same time last year the band played this venue, but they played the Palladium upstairs stage: a tiny stage usually used for local or small touring acts. As soon as I stepped foot into the venue it was clear that the big stage was the right choice this time around, their fans packing the floor from corner to corner. Seeing a band exponentially grow like this is truly an honorable and touching sight, especially for a band like Architects whose political and socially centered music has been long overlooked.
Opening their set with the ominous yet powerful anthem “A Match Made in Heaven,” the group immediately brought the wind and fire to the crowd that evening. With each pulse-pounding breakdown that echoed throughout venue, the crowd reaction kept getting more and more riled after each song, making it clear this wasn’t only some metal band, but rather one with some heart and thought provoking music. A clear stand out track that evening was the bands final song, “Gone with the Wind,” which was in honor of founding member Tom Searle. One of the best parts of the show was watching the crowd engagement with the band. Not a single song seemed to slow the audience or band’s intensity, which can easily be done given the aggressive pattern most their songs fall under. In other words, you would think an hour plus of extremely unrelenting metal would get too static, but it was quite the contrary: this seemed to be the perfect set for the band to play, in terms of time and song choice. The only redundancy I found that evening was the overuse of low-end in both the drums and guitars. Sometimes this would make the instruments collide with each other, ultimately making parts less distinct. I found this not to be a major issue or complaint, just something noticeable from a mixing standpoint.
Being right in front of the band’s newly added member Josh Middleton, it was easy to tell how tight they were as a group. A lot of their music consists of odd metered arrangements, particularly with the guitars and kick drum, as well as some very complex lead guitar lines. All of this calls for each musician to present a very tight performance while maintaining typical head banging/groove movements, which is mainly done to amp up the audience. Taking this into account made Architects’ performance very admirable, and they’re one of the few modern metal bands who break boundaries with their hardcore-djent infusion, electronics ambiences, and their lyrical content. With a solid musical foundation, the band goes as far as deepening these elements with their tremendously passionate and engaging stage performance.