LIVE: Architects / Bury Tomorrow @ O2 Academy Brixton, London

By Jess Tagliani

Over the course of the summer, the UK metal world suffered a huge shock; Tom Searle, one of the most talented guitarists that the music scene had, passed away after years of battling cancer. When the news was announced, it came as a surprise to some that Architects informed fans that they were to carry on with their already-booked Europe and UK headline tour later in the year. However, that surprise soon gave way to joy and celebration, as everyone realised that it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate Tom’s life and work.

In Brixton, Bury Tomorrow take to the stage and, if Architects are the kings of the UK metal scene, then Bury Tomorrow are surely the princes who will one day take the crown. Having just announced their biggest headline UK tour to date on the same day, their set is a rush of adrenaline. Stomping riffs shake the ground during ‘Man On Fire’ and ‘An Honourable Reign’, while fan favourite ‘Lionheart’ crushes speed and aggression to create a storming anthem. The title track of their latest album ‘Earthbound’ sees Bury Tomorrow end their memorable and powerful set on an absolute high, while the majority of the room are left with sweaty brows and a huge grin.

Tonight’s show is a very, very special night for Architects indeed. Before taking to the stage, they were incredibly close to selling the venue out. When they do take the stage, a fired-up Sam Carter is proud to announce that the show has officially sold out, an announcement that’s met with cheers. Mighty tracks such as ‘Nihilist’ and ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ threaten to destroy the venue; full-blooded riffs rear their head in the form of ‘Phantom Fear’ while the crowd goes into a meltdown upon the opening chords of ‘Early Grave’. A beast of a track, ‘Match Made In Heaven’ gets fists pumping and bodies moving within the packed venue, while ‘Gravedigger’ and ‘Colony Collapse’ explode with power.

Emotions are running incredibly high and everyone in the room understands why. It’s not long before Sam Carter address the crowd about Tom. His death at such a young age after battling cancer touched everyone within the scene, with outpourings of grief and anguish, stories about how wonderful he was, coming from fans, fellow bands, and industry professionals alike. Despite the pain that people still feel over his passing, tonight is also a celebration of his work with Architects, of all the songs he wrote, recorded and performed. Sam acknowledges all this with humble grace and sorrow, before dedicating ‘Downfall’ to their brother in arms.

Dan Searle, Tom’s brother, touches back on this later and talks about his brother fondly. It’s evident that it’s a struggle but he soldiers on, talking about pushing forward into the future and achieving your dreams and hopes. It’s touching and emotional, but it’s a moving speech that lights a fire in people’s belly and leaves not one dry eye in the room. It’s here that they sign off with ‘Gone With the Wind’.

Despite everything that’s happened over the summer, it’s evident that Architects have found an inner strength deep within and, combined, they come together to deliver one of their best and dynamic shows. Even if it’s a long time before we hear any new material or shows from them, Architects are a band that the UK music scene needs to treasure.