Live Review: Architects, While She Sleeps & Counterparts @ Alexandra Palace 03/02/2018!

10,000 people have arrived at London’s Alexandra Palace, having travelled far and wide to be at the only UK date of Architects, While She Sleeps & Counterparts European tour. Indeed, Norwegian, Spanish and Dutch are all heard in the queues that form outside the iconic venue before tonight’s show.  Hamilton, Ontario, Canada natives Counterparts [8/10] get the show started with a bang. Having toured many times together previously, the band were invited by Architects frontman Sam Carter via text. No booking agents, no mess, no fuss. It’s a festival sized crowd and atmosphere tonight and this is the largest crowd Counterparts have played to. “No Servant Of Mine”, “Witness” and “Choke” all go down a storm. The band hammer out an 11 song set which includes 7 songs from 2017’s “You’re Not You Anymore” but the stand out moment is during set closer “The Disconnect” when frontman Brendan Murphy simply holds out the microphone and the crowd sing the chorus “I fucking hate the world, I fucking hate myself. I fucking swore I’d never feel like this I hate the world, I hate myself. I hate the world” in full voice.

Sheffield’s proudly independent While She Sleeps [8/10] take the stage amid air-raid sirens and smash into “You Are We” from their brilliant Pledge Music crowd funded album of the same name. It’s been a fantastic 12 months for the band, having returned back from the brink after frontman Lawrence Taylor’s vocal surgery and the aforementioned stunning album under their belts. Older songs “Seven Hills” and “Brainwashed” sit nicely around the newer material and when the band ask for a circle pit around the sound box during set closer “Hurricane”, the crowd willingly oblige. Sadly there is no guest vocalist, let alone Bring Me The Horizon‘s Oli Sykes on stage during “Silence Speaks” but then we can’t have it all, can we?

It’s an emotional night for Brighton’s Progressive Metalcore heroes Architects [10/10] and tonight is a fitting tribute to fallen Guitarist and Song Writer Tom Searle, who’s life is celebrated throughout. Upon a huge disk behind the band, projected images from the bands artwork appear throughout in  little snippets that build atmosphere as the band play through a stunning set. The presence of the bands families at this, the biggest ever Architects headlining show, notably drummer Dan Searle’s pregnant wife and parents just adds the to depth of emotion and passion with which the band play. Guitarist Josh Middleton of Sylosis fame has stepped in and joined the band permanently, having filled in several times for Tom Searle during his lengthy battle with Cancer and is on top form tonight, despite a mid set technical issue that delays proceedings for a few minutes. When it comes to the next album, his input will no doubt be important as the band continue on their career in the way that their fallen brother would have wished, continuing to do him proud. The band start off with “A Match Made In Heaven” and move through a set including “Naysayer”, “Alpha Omega” and “The Devil In Near” while stopping to talk about pushing out the negativity in everyone’s lives that’s pushed out by the media and sensationalist headlines. Pyrotechnics on stage and lasers out into the crowd help build a powerful energy in the crowd. It’s “Grave Digger” that gets the biggest sing-a-long of the night before the band play out “Doomsday”, the final Tom Searle written song that was completed post “Our Gods Have Abandoned Us” with help from Josh Middleton. It’s a truly brilliant song which progresses the bands sound and starts to move into tech-metal and DJent territory in places. First encore “Nihilist” is followed by a short speech from drummer Dan Searle before closer “Gone With The Wind” brings a tear to the eye of everyone in tonight’s audience, especially when frontman Sam Carter is so visibly emotional that he can’t complete all the lyrics. Fortunately he has 10,000 people full of voice who have his back.

 

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