Brighton boys Architects (Sam Carter on lead vocals, Tom Searle and his twin brother Dan Searle on guitar/keyboard and drums respectively, as well as bassist Alex Dean) gave definition to their name by completely reshaping Southampton on Thursday 13th March, such was the thunderous tumult of prog metal blasting out of the doors of The Mo’club once the clock hit 7.30pm. It’s not as if we weren’t expecting this though: we know Architects are huge and they are continuing to go from strength to strength following the release of their sixth studio album Lost Forever // Lost Together which, after only a few days of being circulated, had reached number 16 in the UK Top 40 Album Charts. An extremely commendable achievement for a band like Architects to be on the same level as giants like Disclosure and Beyonce in a mainstream music chart.
Somerset gents Landscapes came on-stage first with an eclectic set of gentle melodies and chunky guitar-work to make a great start to the evening. This modern hardcore group have taken a huge step up in the world over the last few years, and if this performance is anything to go by then you’ll be seeing a lot more of Landscapes in the very near future.
They were closely followed by our cousins from down under, Northlane (known lovingly to Sam Carter as ‘The Robots’). They ramped things up with a mix of bouncy tracks permeated with chugging bass and brutal vocals from Adrian Fitipaldes, starting with the delectably heavy ‘Genesis‘ and finishing with the rolling melodies of Quantum Flux, both of which come from their most recent album Singularity.
The Aussie lads paved the perfect entrance for New Yorkers Stray From The Path who, fronted by Drew York, stalked on stage and launched an aural assault with the anarchic ‘Badge And A Bullet‘. By now the crowd was suitably pumped up, and the bodies were flying all over the place down in front as the band’s grating vocals and thrashing guitar spurred on the action for several more tracks. SFTP have always been about freedom and questioning the societal systems we live in, and Drew York gave testament to this by delivering an empowering speech to the fans encouraging them to pursue whatever dreams they had and that no-one has the right to tell them no when it comes to this. Despite the tough exterior, it seems, SFTP are a bunch of softies on the inside.
They opened up the floor for Architects, who launched into their set with the first track off Lost Forever // Lost Together, ‘Gravedigger‘. The crowd erupted into a foray of flailing limbs which sustained it’s energy for many more tracks. Sam Carter’s performance was absolutely on point, and after almost every song he thanked the fans profusely for supporting the band especially with regards to the recent album release. It was as though, with the progression of the set, he became more and more astounded at his and the band’s own success. He gave an air of humility the like of which is increasingly rare among highly successful music artists these days and he did both the band and his fan base proud. Carter also dedicated the infamous and emotional ‘Follow The Water‘ to the charities they support, particularly those who protect marine wildlife (the guys, being from Brighton, hold the sea very close to their hearts). Architects, like Stray From The Path, politicise their lyrics in a unique manner and show that there is more to contemporary metalcore than the commonly and falsely held opinion of chugging guitar and mindless brutality; behind their songs is a moral and ethical voice calling for justice, calling for respect. Carter’s distinctively “tortured” vocal style lent a power to Architects’ performance which was a privilege to experience, and the like of which I am unlikely to see any time soon.
To surmise, this was one of those gigs where you really had to be there to fully understand the atmosphere. A perfect line-up of bands whose styles all complimented each other, and all of whom build their songs upon emotional and moral foundations to deliver an energetic and emotional performance. It was a pleasure to review this concert.