Live Review: Architects w/Polaris & Beartooth @ The SSE Arena, Wembley

Once “Holy Hell” found its way to our eardrums after it’s surprisingly quick recording, it was only a matter of time before we fell in love with it. In the absence of their fallen brother Tom Searle (Rest In Peace) the band have forged on with their careers and the music they are passionate about and delivered an stunningly good album. The announcement of this huge headlining tour with a pair of big acts in their own right in support is a suitably impressive statement about the band Architects have become without compromising on their sound or style, since their humble beginnings on the Brighton Metal scene.

Polaris [8/10] are part of the new breed of Progressive Metalcore bands that have appeared on the scene recently and are frankly a joy. It’s our third time seeing them in the flesh and they never fail to disappoint. From “Remedy” to “Consume” they play Metalcore with the beating heart of a Progressive Tech-Metal band and by the time they wrap it up everyone wants more. When the opening band of a show like this gets not only circle pits but a wall of death and some mobile phone torch sing-a-long reaction you know it’s going to be a good night!

Beartooth [7/10] released one of the most disappointing albums of 2018 in “Disease” and appeared on our 5 album shortlist for that offence. It perhaps owes more to the quality of their previous work that the more arena rock leaning new material is disappointing so their live show and appearance on this bill is quite the surprise. What they do is perform a set rich in older material like “Body Bag” and save a smattering of the newer material for the end of their set. Beartooth perform with a sense of occasion and have clearly put together a set of more aggressively orientated material for this run of shows to get the audience warmed up for the main event. To do so shows perhaps a level of respect for tonight’s headliners that runs deeper that the norm. A mid-set drum solo is a surprise but a fun way to bridge the set while closing out with the title track of the new album works well.

Architects [10/10] deliver a set of quality anthemic tunes that defy all the odds in their nature. A band as heavy as they are headlining an arena such as this is frankly unheard of and as they continue to deliver anthem after anthem it’s little wonder that they are able to. Continuing Tom Searle’s legacy they smash through the newer material that would make their fallen brother proud. From the very off, “Death Is Not Defeat” gets the crowd singing along and tunes like “Royal Beggars” and “Modern Misery” are far heavier live and somehow squeeze and extra 10% from the Brighton Quintet. The stage is soaked in pyrotechnics and ticker tape at various points and a light show to bring the house down. Cuts like “Naysayer” are phenomenal and if there was any doubt, Josh Middleton is very much the man to take up Tom Searle’s reigns as the bands lead guitarist. He has massive boots to fill and yet with “Holy Hell” he has stepped up to the mark, thanks to extensive touring and fill in performances while Tom Searle was receiving treatment. If the band continue at this pace then Knighthoods all round for services to Metal are due.

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