LIVE: Architects @ Pryzm

By Adam Rosario

Sixteen long, gigless months have gone by, with the world spinning slower than ever. As the pandemic led to a new world of streaming shows and allowed bands time to be creative, Architects delivered their own stellar livestream performance from the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and, soon after, released their ninth studio record, ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’. Tonight, the Brighton natives take to the stage for the second live show in support of that record. Finally.

The atmosphere within Pryzm is one of excitement. There are singalongs as songs play over the PA, people hugging, joking and drinking. As soon as the lights go down, however, all attention is focused on the stage, with the soft vocals of Sam Carter playing the band on stage with ‘Do You Dream of Armageddon?’, building to an impressive crescendo of horns and strings. Once all on stage, they launch into ‘Black Lungs’ to start the set proper, with Dan Searle’s drums crashing through the room and all three tiers of the audience instantly becoming an ocean of flailing limbs. While tonight’s intimate setting seems perfect for ‘Black Lungs’, it’s just one of the newer Architect songs Architects that you can easily see being translated to arenas and festival fields around the world, too.

During the Royal Albert Hall livestream, Architects debuted new tracks from their record that promised to become setlist staples. ‘Discourse Is Dead’ is the first of these to arrive, with pulsing electronics filling the nightclub alongside another arena-ready chorus. This song looks set to be the one to really set the tone of the night for tours to come as Carter’s vocals shines brightly here, with harmonies from Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson’s adding an extra layer. Throughout the set, the band play nine of the fifteen songs on the new album, each one sitting comfortably alongside the older material and never seeming out of place.

While the new material has choruses that would bother God, the older material has the riffs to keep up. ‘Nihilist’ brings with it the usual chaos, while ‘Gravedigger’ still elicits a mosh pit and singalong, as well as being the oldest song played tonight. ‘A Match Made In Heaven’, which for years was an end of the night song, is now found in the middle of the set, but sees Carter hit another level with his vocal performance; ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’ sees him explore his clean, melodic singing a lot more prominently than ever before, but this proves he can still growl and scream with the best of them. 

‘Hereafter’ is still as emotional as when it was released, seemingly giving the band and audience a chance to connect and decompress, and it’s a real moment to witness. Carter gives the crowd a speech about the importance of mental health, especially during these uncertain times, before expressing his gratitude to the fans for choosing to spend their evening with them. ’Little Wonder’ and ‘Impermanence’ follow, with Carter filling in for Mike Kerr of Royal Blood and Winston McCall of Parkway Drive’s guest spots with ease. The band bring their main set to an emotional climax as ‘Gone With The Wind’ goes back to back with ‘Doomsday’ and gains the biggest reaction of the night so far. ‘Doomsday’ will always be a special song, being the first release after Tom Searle passed away, so it’s a cathartic moment every night between the band and audience. Architects and their fans have always held a deep connection, and it’s at the forefront throughout the entire set. 

The encore consists of radio ready single ‘Meteor’ and the industrial leaning ‘Animals’, both of which are tailor made to send the crowd home happy. As the room empties, the atmosphere has turned euphoric. Live music is back, and the crowd tonight have been able to watch this country’s premier metal band doing what they do best. They’ll be making their festival headliner debut at the end of August at ALT-LDN, bringing with them a set that is sure to impress the uninitiated members of the audience they’ll draw in. Architects are armed with a number one record and an arena tour in 2022, and are on course to grow bigger than ever before.