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Architects, Alexandra Palace, London

Metalcore rulers of the universe, Architects, brought their first-ever headline arena tour to the historical Alexandra Palace in London on Friday, May 6th. The legendary venue was sold out months prior to 10K faithful followers that traveled from the four corners of the world to bear witness. Featuring their most recent album release, 'For Those That Wish To Exist', the lineup also included support from Malevolence and Sleep Token.

London was the fourth stop of the five-date tour and Malevolence wasted no time opening a wall-to-wall mosh pit. They drove the pace harder, heavier and faster with new releases 'Life Sentence' and 'On Broken Glass' from their upcoming album, Malicious Intent, which drops on May 20th. The blistering set ended with fan fave 'Keep Your Distance'.

The pace slowed down for the hauntingly hypnotic yet tormenting heavy vibes of Sleep Token. The masked collective of musicians, led by the breathtaking vocals of the Vessel, captivated the crowd with 'Alkaline', 'Hypnosis' and 'Mine' from their most recent album, This Place Will Become Your Tomb, as well as several other entrancing selections that concluded with 'The Offering'. This band is a must see live to fully bask in the ritual experience of an extreme talent.

With cameras rolling and crowd surfers at the ready, the lights at Ally Pally went black. An enormous stage screen illuminated and displayed stunning video imagery to an instrumental version of 'Do You Dream Of Armageddon?', casting it's light onto the capacity crowd waiting in hungry anticipation. Upon it's conclusion the Great Hall erupted into a deafening roar as Dan Searle (drums), Alex Dean (bass), Adam Christianson (rhythm guitar), Josh Middleton (lead guitar) and Sam Carter (vocals) took the stage and dropped into 'Black Lungs' followed by 'Giving Blood' and the pulsating riffs of 'Impermanence'.

Bursting with electric energy, Carter strode along an elevated platform across the front of the stage for ninety minutes, pausing his vocals periodically to hear the crowd sing. They were rewarded for their efforts with his contagious smile, beaming with visible emotion, as he took in the scene before him at the iconic venue. Old favorites were weaved in with the newer work, including 'Nihlist', 'A Match Made In Heaven' and 'Gravedigger'.

Architects ninth studio album has been their most successful to date and their popularity continues to grow at a fever pace, edging into the mainstream of rock and metal. Founded in Brighton, England in 2004 by twin brothers, Tom and Dan Searle, they have been signed to Epitaph Records since 2013. After the tragic passing of Tom Searle in 2017, his best friend, Middleton, became the final addition to the current lineup. Carter took a moment to reflect mid-set and addressed the crowd on loss before performing 'Gone With The Wind' to Tom's memory in a moving tribute.

With so much material to pull from, the performance focused on the last four albums, dating back to 2014, and included the brand-new banging single, 'When We Were Young', released on April 20th. Despite the track being just fourteen days old Carter was stunned that every word was sang back to them just like each song prior to the encore. The final song of the night was the mammoth, raging hit, 'Animals'. Security could not grab the ocean of bodies coming over the barriers fast enough, and before we knew it, the show was over.

Earlier this year, Architects recorded For Those That Wish To Exist with Parallax Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, creating a record so special it not only elevated their current work but set the bar for excellence and creativity within the industry. Architects journey is beginning a whole new chapter, be sure to catch them this fall, on their North American Tour.

Lisa Wills


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