Architects receive an ovation simply for walking on stage tonight, a mass outpouring of sympathy for a tragedy that recently befell the band. Eighteen months ago, their guitarist and main songwriter, Tom Searle, died at the age of 28 after three years with skin cancer. His twin brother and Architects’ co-founder, Dan, remains the band’s drummer.
The Brighton metal band had been building up a sizeable following before Searle’s death, with the incendiary ire and bludgeoning riffs of their 2016 album, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, making it their second to chart high, reaching No 15 in the UK. Their rage is righteous, with the group all being vocal vegans who campaign for animal rights and on environmental issues.
None of these subtleties are easily discernible from the Architects live experience, a relentless assault of down-tuned guitar, ferocious percussion and singer Sam Carter growling like a man who gargles broken glass. “I found God clutching a razor blade!” he howls on the apocalyptic Nihilist. During one of his frequent between-song motivational speeches, he urges the assembled not to lapse into becoming “fucking sheep”.
Tonight is about far more than music, though. After the relatively symphonic set-closing Doomsday, a single co-written by their late guitarist just before his death, Dan Searle emerges from behind his drum kit to address the crowd. “My brother Tom would be tearing up to see 10,000 people here listening to his songs,” he divulges, close to tears himself. At the end of the night, Architects vacate the stage under a giant heart bearing the initials TS. Dry eyes are at a distinct premium.