Live Review: Architects at Royal Albert Hall (Live Stream)!
A month ago the surprise release of a new single entitled “Animals” with the news of a new record “For Those That Wish To Exist” set for 26th February 2021 was a much needed and welcome surprise. The tour cycle for “Holy Hell” had seen Architects do a European Arena tour and we had the pleasure of seeing a pyrotechnic laden set at the SSE Arena in London alongside Beartooth and Polaris as that took to flight. Since then Josh Middleton reactivated Sylosis and released “Cycle Of Suffering” which perhaps gave us the idea that the Brighton Progressive Metalcore heroes would be taking an extended break while Sylosis hit the road and with Ali Richardson from Bleed From Within being part of that project, a tour that saw Bleed From Within, Sylosis and Architects perform together and double duties being handled would really be something, should it ever happen. In the meantime, tonight Architects perform a live stream at the legendary Royal Albert Hall to chalk another prestigious venue off their growing list having played to 10,000 fans at Alexandra Palace. That was an incredible show that ended without a dry eye in the house as the band paid tribute to the dearly departed Tom Searle. May he rest in peace for he is sorely missed.
Standing in the pit and facing the band who are on stage, vocalist Sam Carter tears into “Nihilist” amid an impressive light show while the cameras whirl around him and look up to the rest of Architects whose synchronized headbanging during the breakdowns gives us a huge ear to ear grin. God but we miss the live shows. The atmosphere is electric thanks to an incredible mix in the auditorium with a phenomenal snare sound from a huge drum rig, icy cold synths and an emotive set of visuals running on a backdrop behind one of the finest bands from these shores in the modern era as Carter joins the rest on stage blocks illuminated by strip lights. A brand new song “Discourse Is Dead” is second out of the gate and fully loaded with DJenty goodness as well as some bleak ambient parts, a full on rager for the new album. If new single “Animals” has a more stripped back sound, then this second new cut has a more typical Architects one. “Death Is Not Defeat” brings that epic breakdown while being enveloped in programmed orchestration proving that the sounds of both Worlds can live within the same space and sound great.
Whether it’s the Royal Albert Hall itself, the quality of the microphones or the bands performance, the sound quality of the stream is phenomenal, second to none. The cash has clearly been spent on getting the production value right and everything has been dialed up to 11 so while we don’t have the option of standing in the arena itself, we have everything else possible, cuts like “Royal Beggars” sounding huge and epic, filling every inch of the empty space with it’s melancholic moments and sheer power. There might be an eerie silence between the songs with no crowd but Architects don’t allow that to happen as the just keep smashing the tracks out, barely pausing for breath between them and by the time “Gravedigger” hits, the side screen Mosh Chat is in full flow before “Animals” makes it’s anticipated appearance. The surprise is that live, it sounds so much better than it does on the record; the riffs are sharper, the synths more vibrant and sound so much bigger.
The third new song of the set is “Dead Butterflies“, a huge and epic sounding piece with a melancholic sadness underneath it that lingers. The orchestration plays a huge part but as ever it’s the riffs that make it; each of the new songs has brought something different to the table and the promise of the new album is something to really look forward to. An acoustic segment that includes “A Wasted Hymn” is something really special as the band step down from the stage into a circle on the floor that allows a camera rig to roll around them on a set of tracks. Returning to the stage for a trio of songs that closes with “Doomsday” makes for a fitting finale to a 75 minute set that has wiped the floor with some of those what we have witnessed during this streaming age. 2021 will be the year “For Those That Wish To Exist” breaks through the ice and brings the fans back together in the live arena. It might sound like a cliché but Tom Searle would be proud [10/10]