Date: March 7th, 2014
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Support: Landscapes / Northlane / Stray From The Path
With only a few days until they release their sixth studio effort, ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’, Brighton metalcore troupe Architects kick off what will be a rather lengthy tour in support of the record in Manchester. The album itself, though not officially released, has been streaming online for a few weeks, no doubt the band will be showcasing as much new material as possible. This sold out Manchester crowd will be some of the first people they debut this to in a live setting.
However, to get the wheels a-turning, melodic hardcore outfit Landscapes (***) have been enlisted as opening support and, as a result, open up the tour to a room that, though starts sparse, soon fills up and sees some rather dedicated fans screaming back the words within the first few rows. Shaun Milton, clearly more comfortable on smaller stages and inches away from their fans, jumps over the barrier and joins those who’ve signposted their appreciation. The adrenaline has clearly started flowing.
One of modern metalcore’s brightest hopes as of late, Northlane (***), appear to be one of the main attractions in this line-up, at least for today’s date of the tour. Though the bass drops are enough to make your ribcage rattle and the vocal work of Adrian Fitipaldes seems almost effortless, most notably with ‘Quantum Flux’ and ‘Aspire’, the Aussies definitely aren’t on top form. Maybe they’re still limbering up and will see better shows as the tour progresses, and maybe a lot of it is down to major jetlag, but ultimately Northlane are capable of more.
New York’s Stray From The Path (****) are probably best summed up as a fresh-faced Rage Against The Machine who were fed on a heavy, heavy diet of modern hardcore. The likes of ‘Mad Girl’ and ‘Radio’ draw in some pit work from the crowd and, upon the command from frontman Drew York to see at least ten crowdsurfers, more than triple that amount fly over the barrier during ‘Landmines’. Their high-tempo and brash hardcore with a hint of rap really sets the bar high for the evening’s headliners.
Now, onto the main attraction, Architects (*****) jump into proceedings right away with ‘Gravedigger’, the opening track from their new album and already, even before an official release, it sees the biggest singback we’ve seen since the doors opened. Indeed, throughout their set, the Brighton based outfit provide plenty of cuts from new album ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’. Their confidence in their material is risky but definitely rewarded; ‘C.A.N.C.E.R.’ has the qualities to be a long-time set staple and ‘Colony Collapse’ is as melodic as it is aggresive.
Their older material doesn’t go amiss though; ‘Devil’s Island’ gets the whole room bouncing, ‘Black Blood’‘s combined technical prowess and venomous strike is impressive to behold, and ‘Follow The Water’ takes the title of the biggest chorus award, with the crowd for the most part overpowering Sam Carter and his microphone.
Evidently, what this show proves, even with it being the first date of a tour and expectedly things to be a but rusty than usual, is that Architects are on the verge of something truly great for them now. Whether they obtain that treaure depends on several factors, most of which beyond their control. Watch this space.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)