Architects are on a seemingly unstoppable tidal wave at the moment, as a band they have faced more than their fair share of stumbles and each time come out of them stronger as a result. To cap the latest phase in their career as one of Britain’s premier metal bands, they have just finished off their biggest run of UK headline dates ever; we caught them at Nottingham’s Rock City for the penultimate date of the tour.
Opening band BlessTheFall are an interesting proposition, everything about them can be traced back to the peak of metalcore from 2005-2007, when heavy fringes, breakdowns, and walls of death were standard procedure if you wanted to make it in metal. Yet despite the dated package, the already packed Rock City main hall fell for their charm, whether out of nostalgia or genuine enjoyment wasn’t overly clear, but BlessTheFall are clearly doing something right.
Main support Every Time I Die on the other hand are the elder statesmen of hardcore, without them chances are much of tonight’s bill wouldn’t even be playing this style of music. Tracks like ‘We’rewolf’, ‘Roman Holiday’ and ‘Underwater Bimbos From Out of Space’ still sound as fresh and heavy as they ever did, while Keith Buckley can still howl just as well, if not better than before. Tracks from 2014’s From Parts Unknown like ‘El Dorado’ and ‘All Parts Are Unstable’ somehow gathered even more energy behind them, while closer ‘Moor’, an uncharacteristic slow-paced, progressive track provided a perfect contrasted ending to a triumphant set. They’re sure to be a festival favourite this summer and a full UK headline tour wouldn’t go amiss either.
…and so to Architects. A sold out 1900 capacity Rock City main hall greeted the bands arrival like the second coming of Christ, ‘Broken Cross’ making a perfect opener and the floor opening up immediately. ‘Devil is Near’ followed and the set proceeded to follow the same formula, of relentless, pure anger in the band’s delivery, pride on their faces, and adoration from the crowd. The now standard inclusions from Hollow Crown came in the form of ‘Early Grave’ and ‘Follow the Water’, both receiving a tremendous response, and proving that while the band have changed significantly since the 2009 release, the tracks are just as vital as they ever were. ‘Alpha Omega’ and main set closer ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ were there to represent the Daybreaker contingent, while 2011’s the here and now was omitted from the set entirely.
When we last saw Architects almost exactly a year to do the day Lost Forever/Lost Together had only been out a week and we commented how the songs already felt at home in the set, now a year on the set is almost entirely from that album, a testament to the reaction the songs have received since release, an encore of ‘The Deepest Blue’ and ‘Gravedigger’ only further proving this.
The show at rock city may have been eclipsed in size the following day by the bands sold out show at London’s Camden Roundhouse, but would have had to do a lot to beat the atmosphere inside Rock City. Many in the audience tonight have watched the band grow from the Basement, to Rescue Rooms, to finally headlining the main room over the past 6/7 years and this show was a celebration of that. It is also refreshing to see British metal growing in such a way, Bring Me the Horizon being the other shining example. Following that trend, we can’t wait to see Architects top the bill at Wembley.