Architects triumph in Nottingham for the “For Those That Wish To Exist” UK Tour – 03/05/22

 

 

WORDS BY SETH HODGKINSON / IMAGES BY PAUL DIXON

 

‘The Music Stops But The Energy Carries Through As Sam Screams Into The crowd “Hello Nottingham, How The Fuck Are You?”,

 

As I entered Nottingham Motorpoint Arena to see Architects, surrounded by thousands of devoted fans talking about the setlist, I already knew this was going to be brilliant. Even though the show had been delayed from early February to early May the arena was filling rapidly.

Wasting no time at all the first support act, Sheffield Metalcore band Malevolence enter the stage. A tear in the crowd is apparent as a monstrous circle pit opens during the intro track malicious intent. Then, in a flash they break into their song ‘Life Sentence’ and bodies are flailing around the pit, pure carnage breaks loose as people kick and shove rapidly in a circle. The vocalist then stops, asking everyone to close the pit as he states “Myself and members of this band, this year alone, have lost a lot of people to addiction and suicide. So I want to send a message out, in particular to all the lads. It’s okay not to be okay.” Before breaking into their gloomy slow burning yet intense song ‘The Other Side’. This in my opinion really presented the true versatility of Malevolence as they showed they are more than just the average metalcore band opening the song with guitarist Konan Hall takes over vocals on the first verse and chorus of the song before Vocalist Alex Taylor Annihilates the crowd with his distorted vocals on the rest of the song.

 

Setlist:

1.) Malicious intent

2.) Life Sentence

3.) On Broken Glass

4.) Self Supremacy

5.) The Other Side

6.) Keep Your Distance

 

 

Malevolence had presented themselves as the act to beat, now can ‘Sleep Token’ match their energy. Short answer: no. Long answer: they had an entirely different energy that I didn’t feel equal the other acts through the night. The masked band came onto stage and immediately broke into their single Alkaline which I liked after seeing it previously at the Download Pilot although I don’t feel their sound has reached arena heights yet their song ‘Mine’ was a highlight of the set and was the closest they reached to these levels, the vocalist letting out an anthemic festival chorus that left most of the crowd singing along. He put on a big theatrical yet robotic display as he went through the set which never seemed to find it’s footing. I feel theatrics like this can work if the music is strong enough to carry the set forward but unfortunately unlike Malevolence their set remained stagnant, the band are incredibly talented but there were points in their set where I was left thinking “are they nearly finished” which I didn’t get from either of the other acts. Overall, I felt it was a decent set but little in comparison to Malevolence or Architects.

 

Setlist

1.) Alkaline

2.) Hypnosis

3.) Jaws

4.) Mine

5.) Like That

6.) The Love You Want

7.) Higher

8.) The Obvious

 

 

Finally, the moment everyone’s been anticipating, the lights go down and apocalyptic imagery begins to flash on the screen as the instrumental to “Do You Dream of Armageddon?” blares through the speakers. The band step onstage to deafening screams of excitement from the fans filling the arena. Without a word they explode into ‘Black Lungs’, raucous guitars blare as the pit opens awaiting the breakdown. The breakdown begins, the pit compresses, bodies flailing around as if they’re all off the beat and track. Collisions are imminent as the heavy guitars violently soar through the arena while Sam screams out “They clipped the wings of the phoenix” the crowd all triumphantly chant along with him. I’m left in the middle of the pit awestruck thinking “this is it” before immediately being thrashed around again by the violent tides of the pit. Without wasting a second, they then breaking into the third track from their latest album titled ‘Impermanence’, the crowd then carries on the ritual of opening the pit on the softer pre-chorus before colliding during the heavier less melodic chorus. I was found surprised by this opening as on a first listen I wasn’t too fond of Architects’ most recent body of work but was left floored by these first three songs, an amazing opening to a set, I couldn’t see it going any better for them. 10/10 energy from the crowd as well as ushering new fans into the pit by helping them up if they fell.

The music stops but the energy carries through as Sam screams into the crowd “Hello Nottingham, how the fuck are you?”, the crowd erupts with screams before he asks again “I asked how the fuck are you?” and once again the crowd screams out even louder than before. We then receive a rare moment of silence before chaos is unleashed once again “We Are Beggars” Sam and the crowd bellows as the band breaks into the song ‘Nihilist’ from their 2016 album ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ They’re on a roll as they tear through anthem after anthem. After a few more songs and a bit more fighting through the pit they then mellow out for a few minutes.

“You wanna know something mental? My first full gig as a frontman for Architects was in Nottingham.” He pauses for a second “That gig was to 26 people so to see all you here tonight is mental so thank you for spending your hard-earned money to keep live music alive, this song is called ‘Royal Beggars”

This song was the moment I really grasped how Sam Carter had mastered both distorted shrieks and beautiful cleans as he seamlessly blended the harsh verses into the downplayed pre-chorus before exploding again into the anthemic chorus leaving me dumbfounded. They have really mastered the art of dynamics in their sound and progressed past the days of constant noisy onslaughts, this is what sets them apart from their peers and newer bands. They aren’t afraid to break the mould and push forward and have the experience to support these interesting new takes on the genre, they don’t particularly care to think about what the metal community thinks because in a few months or years’ time their favourite band will be doing it too. They then proved they can still effectively carry out the harsher sound of their routes by playing their 2014 song Gravediggers. Although the song isn’t entirely to my own taste at the moment the rest of the crowd went wild, the pits grow more violent to the rapid riffs and drumbeats. The old hardcore fans ushering the new fans deeper into the pit entranced by the djent riffs and energy being presented.

 

Band:

Dan Searle – Drums/Percussion/Programming 

Sam Carter – Lead Vocals

Alex “Ali” Dean – Bass

Adam Christianson – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals

Josh Middleton – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals 

 

 

 

A great change of pace was introduced in Little Wonder where the band take a more danceable approach to their music whilst keeping the grit of the chugging guitars in some sections. “I want you to dance like you’ve never danced before” Sam commanded before the band broke into the track. The pit opened but this time the collision was less aggressive as people attempted to do as Sam said and dance, not a regular type of dance mind you but a chaotic series of collisions akin to a drunken sporadic waltz.

The true highlight of the night was gone with the wind, song written by the late Tom Searle whilst he was suffering with melanoma, the fact they still perform this is remarkable and the pain of performing it is justified. You could feel the wave of emotion sweeping over the crowd as they poured their hearts out acting as a constant memorial to the fallen guitarist. “Disintegrate, annihilate me.” cry out the crowd in anguish and you can really feel the pain in every word as it’s screamed back at the band. They then transition into their big closing track Doomsday; the energy is rampant in the pit as the final chorus blares and everyone’s left wondering what else is left to come. A few years ago, this song would close an entire set but now it’s not even on the encore, what could they possibly still play?

The band re-enter the stage for the encore, this time brighter guitars than previously shown blare as the crowd prepares for another breakdown but there isn’t one. The heavy guitars come in and Sam starts shouting in an almost hardcore punk metal fusion before everything evens out for the chorus. Although when we were young was a nice change of pace, I feel this could’ve been presented better earlier in the set rather than the penultimate song. They then played their biggest song Animals and even though Animals is a good song it didn’t feel like a closer, I feel this slot would’ve been much better handled by Doomsday. The introduction and finale are very important for concerts like this and although they had a very strong showing overall, but I don’t think they quite stuck the landing. Overall Architects put on a near perfect show, but the encore left more to be desired.

 

 

Setlist

1/ Do You Dream Of Armageddon? (no vocals)

2/ Black Lungs

3/ Giving Blood

4/ Impermanence

5/ Nihilist

6/ Modern Misery

7/Discourse Is Dead

8/ Royal Beggars

9/ A Match Made In Heaven

10/ Mortal After All

11/ Gravedigger

12/ Little Wonder

13/ Meteor

14/ Dead Butterflies

15/ Hereafter

16/ Gone With The Wind

17/ Doomsday

 Encore

18/ When we were young

19/ Animals

 

 

 

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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i'm blessed and get to combine both. Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.

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