It would be easy for a band six albums into their career to sit back and start taking it easy, relying on a tried and tested sound; however Architects have never been that band. Evolving their sound with each album, the band have put out one of their best yet in Lost Forever // Lost Together, three days after it’s release we caught them at the Birmingham Institute.
The night’s line-up was a showcase of the best up-and-coming talent in hardcore and metal, opened by UK band Landscapes. Though their set was brief, Landscapes’ emotionally charged hardcore drawn from debut album Life Gone Wrong was the ideal opening to the night.
It was immediately clear from the opening roar of the guitars that Northlane are a very different proposition that you very rarely find in heavy music. Every now and again a band appears with the promise to change the face of a genre; in recent years Gojira and Mastodon are just a few who have achieved it and based on their set, Northlane may well be next. From the hypnotic twisting of the band on stage in sync with their ‘Djent’ style rhythms to the controlled aggression of the vocal delivery, few in the room were left in doubt of Northlane’s potential credentials.
In stark contrast to Northlane, Stray From The Path have been on the hardcore scene for a while. Exploding onto the stage with no dramatic introductions, just raw aggression, the four-piece had an undeniably imposing presence, however the songs didn’t quite match the energy of the crowd and the band. Bearing a resemblance to Rage Against The Machine at their most intense moments, they clearly have a lot of faith in what they do and believe, however the set was ultimately repetitive and metalcore-by-numbers.
There was no need to question who everybody in the room was here for tonight from the moment Stray From the Path ended. Chants of “Arch-i-tects” rang around the room frequently before the band arrived to ‘Gravedigger’, the opening track off phenomenal new album Lost Forever // Lost Together. As the sold out floor opened up into the biggest circle pit The Institute has perhaps ever experienced, the band continued to plough through ‘C.A.N.C.E.R’, ‘Alpha Omega’ and ‘Even If You Win, You’re Still a Rat’, making sure every second delivered was as ferocious as the last.
The new songs have slotted into the set like they were always there, ‘Broken Cross’ and ‘Naysayer’ have of course been available for a while and having the album streaming a week prior to the show was also a benefit, few in the room were unfamiliar with any of the songs aired; ‘Colony Collapse’ in particular sounded truly haunting live. Frontman Sam Carter performed like a man possessed, while the rhythm section of Ali Dean and Dan Searle kept all in check as the band’s signature guitar sound provided the final blow.
Their setlist was one that, minus three tracks from highly regarded album Hollow Crown, drew almost entirely from the new album and 2012’s Daybreaker. ‘Day In Day Out’ providing the only reminder of ‘The Here And Now’, the band’s recent political comments rang louder than ever; Carter’s tribute to marine charity ‘Sea Shepherd’ (also in attendance throughout the tour) received a huge cheer before a set highlight of ‘Follow The Water’. The band themselves were entertained by a crowd request for ‘Always’ off 2007 album Ruin.
Closing with an encore of instrumental ‘Red Hypergiant’ and an anthemic ‘These Colours Don’t Run’, the show demonstrated something that had been commented on frequently in the build up to this tour; that there is a tangible buzz in the air around Architects at the moment, that they could be onto something very special. The band have always hinted that there was more to come and with Lost Together // Lost Forever and they now have the album and the live show to back the claims up, and six albums into their career, this could well be the beginning of a new era for Architects.