There’s no greater turning point in life than that signposted “death’. Death changes all, both tearing us apart and bringing us together. The decision to carry on being a band after their beloved brother Tom Searle passed destroyed Architects, however after collectively licking their tear drenched wounds it all lead up to this. Architects. Ally Pally.
The final date of their 2018 European tour saw Architects, While She Sleeps and Counterparts sell out one of London’s most prestigious venues. It brought together 10,000 souls, each desperate to scream to the heavens. Canadian hardcore outfit Counterparts had the honor of lighting the fuse, to what they described as “too many people for metalcore”. With a set list packed full of power from their latest release You’re Not You Anymore, Counterparts humbly showcased both their talent and love for their brothers in the two bands that were yet to play. With immense energy through ‘No Servant Of Mine’ and ‘Thieves’, Counterparts made the Ally Pally look miniscule, and despite a lot of people still queuing out in the cold, those inside ate them up like Christmas dinner.
What better way for While She Sleeps to reignite after an insane 2017 than a direct support slot for one of our genre’s new giants? Last year we saw Sleeps play some of the smallest, most intimate venues and now to see them own this huge play space was staggering. Culminating the arguable best of their discography, While She Sleeps took stage the only way they know how. Fast, loud, and angrily. Opening with the atmospheric anthem that is ‘You Are We’ While She Sleeps just shone with pride as the Alexandra Palace floor writhed to a soundtrack of their music. All the while being a shorter set than we were expecting, While She Sleeps blasted through their craft, paying their upmost respect to their friends in Architects, as this was their last show with them on this tour. Closing on a carnage triplet of ‘Four Walls’, ‘Silence Speaks’ and ‘Hurricane’, Sleeps succeeded in leading the evening into Armageddon. With 10,000 sweat-shined vessels laying in wait, Architects were to take stage.
Following the organ shaking chugs of ‘A Match Made In Heaven’, The Alexandra Palace erupted into cataclysm. With pyro and screams drenching the heavy air, five men alone played a show like it would be their last. Unleashing a setlist of unhinged emotion, Architects showed joy, sorrow, happiness and pain. To the point where their brave faces just evaporated. The sense of achievement as an audience member was unparalleled. The fact of the matter is we helped Architects get here, and being there to watch it all unfold was one act of humility that will stay with us forever. ‘Naysayer’, ‘Alpha Omega’, ‘Gravity’, their late brothers legacy lived on in us. Those who screamed back every word until the window glass flinched; all leading up to a genre-defining ode to a brilliant musical mind, ‘Doomsday’. The encore pause hung in the air like a carcass. As it seemed no one in the room dared exhale, the glitching tones of ‘Memento Mori’ entered softly filling each and every tear duct present like an audio-formed pipette. Following the untapped rage of ‘Nihilist’, there we were at the end. In memory we howled, ‘Gone With The Wind’. Overpowering and emotional Sam Carter, the Ally Pally unleashed the words, Tom’s words, every last one.
When faced with what could’ve been the end of their band, Architects chose to continue. They chose to honor their brother and allow his memory to live on through music. Following a faultless performance we can say that Architects are doing exactly that. Architect’s journey has been a difficult one, but it’s one that hasn’t gone unnoticed.