Architects, Live in Bristol

Brighton metallers kick off landmark UK tour in style

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A leaking, acoustics-ruining skate-park-cum-nightclub in a Bristol industrial estate might not initially seem like a triumphant setting, but when you consider Architects’ first stop on their biggest UK jaunt to date has already been upgraded from the impressive, swanky surroundings of the Anson Rooms, the noise and feverish atmosphere created by the packed mass inside Motion are testament to how far the band have come on the back of last year’s career-best Lost Forever//Lost Together.

Having now developed a sound that’s unquestionably their own, and a following built on doggedly sticking to their guns and old-fashioned elbow grease, it’s fitting to see such anticipation for a band getting their dues just over a decade into a prolific career./o:p

The passionate hardcore of Canadian firebrands COUNTERPARTS [7] perfectly mirrors the heart-on-sleeve approach of the headliners. Though still rough around the edges, the belligerent chug is offset by the immediacy of the melodies of Burn and Compass, easily winning over new admirers with the fervent Outlier.

/o:pWhat BLESSTHEFALL [5] bring to the bill, however, is anyone’s guess. The identicore riffing and onstage posturing have the front rows in raptures, and the thrashier moments of Youngbloods seem to get the adrenaline going. But Beau Bokan’s vapid vocals ultimately expose a set that’s glaringly devoid of hooks and ultimately all the energy expelled seems to be for nothing – even the between-set cuts of nu metal classics attaining a more feverish reaction.

There’s no such problem with EVERY TIME I DIE [8] as they maraud through a set that few are likely to forget any time soon. With every knob seemingly dialled up to the max there’s very little in the way of clarity, with each song instead forming an impenetrable wall of punishing noise driven on by the controlled chaos of the five men on stage.

Jordan Buckley and bassist Stephen Micciche fling their bodies and instruments around with abandon; hulking guitarist Andy Williams does his best to cover every inch of the stage and crowd with sweat and spit, while frontman Keith Buckley still has few equals when it comes to the title of effortlessly coolest man in rock. The New Black still sounds inimitable a decade on, while the closing cacophony of Moor sees the crowd, who only moments before were engulfing the entire floor in a circlepit, looking on in confusion and wondering how the hell the headliners are going to follow.

/o:pThe answer comes in the kind of polished, precise yet euphoric set you’d expect from a band finally getting their dues and proving they truly belong in these realms, giving every indication this is far from a culmination of efforts for ARCHITECTS [8], and rather the end of the beginning.


Boasting an impressive light show and smidgen of pyro that comes with the territory they’ve now acquired, Sam Carter and company look and sound like world beaters as they launch into the sledgehammer punch and ambient tones of Broken Cross that give the crowd their first real chance to exercise their vocal cords.

Understandably, every song from their latest opus is given an airing to rapacious welcome, with the singalong chants of C.A.N.C.E.R. and thunderous bounce of Dead Man Talking sounding note perfect, while the intricate riffs and delicate mid-section of Castles In The Air receives its live debut to universal commendation. With such a heavy emphasis on recent numbers, ventures into the back catalogue are slim but of the highest order./o:p

The frenzied assaults of Alpha Omega and These Colours Don’t Run reach seemingly unattainable peaks, while the angular thrust of Hollow Crown’s Run To The Water and Early Grave’s cerebral bludgeoning are testament to how long the band have been ahead of the chasing pack. Even a towering rendition of Day In Day Out from the unfairly lambasted The Here And Now stands its ground.

The Sea Shepherd banner and stand to raise awareness lets the message behind the likes of The Devil Is Near speak for itself, with Sam’s words to the crowd conveying the sense that these are simply five humble guys, thankful and fortunate to be doing what they love.

Sadly a late running order and delayed start sees the venue’s curfew come and go, and with the crowd gradually slipping away to ensure they catch the last bus home, the encore of an impassioned The Distant Blue and the colossal call to arms of Gravedigger fail to get the reception they really should deserve. Not that this takes anything away from what is another passionate, professional notch on the band’s post.

Rather than basking in the praise, you get the sense that as soon as the gear is packed away Architects will be doing what comes naturally: planning the next step./o:p

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.