Architects, Monday 14th January, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

Review by Lizzie Parry

Architects have been one of my favourite bands for a few years now, but this was my first time seeing them live. To say that I was excited would be an understatement; the new album ‘Holy Hell’ did not disappoint and with such a strong line up, I already knew that this was going to be one of the standout gigs of 2019.

Polaris took to the stage first and opened their set with ‘The Remedy’, one of the lead tracks from their album ‘The Mortal Coil’. These guys have so much energy and the crowd immediately responded. A band with mesmerising guitar work and vocal layers for days, I really want to catch their headline show when they are next in the UK.

Beartooth were up next. If I thought Polaris sounded huge then Beartooth took it to another level! You could feel the drums through your entire body and the clear, chunky guitar riffs had the whole room bouncing. Frontman Caleb Shomo was full of emotion that a lot of the crowd could relate to. Their live performance has prompted me to add them into my regular playlists. A worthy main support choice.

It’s hard to know where to begin with Architects. No one can imagine what they have been through as a band and as people, especially in the last few years. The strength that they’ve shown is truly inspiring and as soon as the intro music started I had goosebumps. An obvious opener, ‘Death Is Not Defeat’ (the first track on the new album) was sung loud and proud by everyone in the room. First song down and I was already in awe of the band’s stage presence, the quality of the sound and the visuals of the show.

Sam Carter is without a doubt one of the best metal vocalists in the world. There is so much power, raw emotion and depth to his voice along with the charisma that comes so naturally to him. Architects are a team of exceptionally talented musicians; each person shone individually as well as performing so tightly together.

The set list contained a welcome mix of songs from the last 3 albums and even a throwback to ‘Daybreaker’ with the track ‘These Colours Don’t Run’. A standout moment was the dedication of ‘Downfall’ to the victims of the Manchester arena bombing.

Other personal highlights were ‘Hereafter’, ‘Royal Beggars’ and ‘Doomsday’, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole night. If I lived closer to Manchester, I would have returned for the second show!

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