It’s been two albums (For Those That Wish To Exist and the classic symptoms of a broken spirit) and a pandemic since Architect’s graced our shores. Friday night saw them play in Adelaide with Canadian outfit Counterparts and local lads Thornhill.
Outside the venue the vibe was high and judging from the chatter amongst punters this was a post covid gig they had been patiently waiting for. Upon entering there are lots of early punters enjoying a beer in the foyer, but I made a beeline for the stage as to not miss a moment.
It's been a crappy few weeks for Thornhill, and I was happy to see them still on this lineup. For those unaware Thornhill was left devastated recently when close to $100,000 worth of gear was stolen from their rehearsal rooms, leaving the band unsure if they would be able to fulfill their tour commitments. The metal community jumped into action. Fellow musicians offered the use of their gear and music lovers supported a Go-Fund-Me campaign to the tune of 62K.
The talented Melbournians have a huge first half of the year, heading overseas in April so this may be the last time we see them for a while. The opening song pulled the punters in from the bar and the crowd grew considerably. There was no doubt that we were in for a belter of a performance from them. Asking the crowd to step closer we hear the tell-tale riff of Coven; cheers erupt from the crowd. This is a treat because as Jacob tells us, they don’t play this one often and he expects us to move! Prowling the catwalk, getting down low to the crowd Jacob exudes the aura of a superstar. Jacob dedicates Raw to the crowd with a heartfelt thank you “I want to thank every single person that has put any money into saving this band. It’s the only reason that we are here. This song is for you.”
Thornhill never fail to disappoint but tonight, knowing that they are playing with borrowed gear, their musicianship shines. Drummer Ben Maida moves between hard hits and harder hits! Meticulous in the way he drums I found myself forgetting at times to watch the other guys!!! Lily and the Moon, Hellfire Club and Where We Go When We Die are loudly welcomed by the fans as bodies sway and heave to guitars that impeccably screech and wail. We get our groove on to the hypnotic trance-like beat of Casanova which is Muse=esque like in its sound. Thornhill’s job is done as not only are we warmed up, we are burning.
Hardcore kids to the front thanks… I think it was 6 years ago I first saw Counterparts play at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Looking back, they may well have been my first taste of live hardcore music. If I was impressed back then future me was in for a whole new level of impressed second time around!!! Counterparts have aged like a fine wine. Slamming us sonically from the get-go I think it took the crowd a few songs to remember to breath and move. Shouting out a thank you to the crowd for being there, vocalist Brendan Murphy stated, “We have a couple more left, hopefully you dig it, if not my fucking bad!’ before the band launched into Monument. I think there was a collective exhale as bodies started to flay around the pit. Down tuned guitars smashing against blasting beats made it impossible for your body to remain still. And the breakdown…. I wish I was young enough that a pit injury didn’t mean bed rest for a week!!! A quick glance around the crowd confirmed I was not the only person feeling this as we were aurally assaulted again and again. Vocally Brendan’s performance was downright mesmerizing, from the lowest of guttural growls to some insanely powerful screams, the man’s voice is an emotional rollercoaster. Having also released a new album (A Eulogy for Those Still Here) we were treated to a good mix of old and new with tunes like Love Me, Flesh to fill your Wounds, Unwavering Vow, No Servant of Mine and Your Own Knife. Counterparts’ fans are in for a massive treat this tour so don’t miss out.
There is a shift in the vibe of the room as faces scan the stage, searching for any sign of movement. Sam Carter bursts onto the stage amid a deafening roar as the band takes their positions. For the next two hours it’s hard to tell where the band stops, and the fans begin. Being at an Architect gig is like wrapping yourself in your favourite blanket. The connection and interaction the band has with their fans is like nothing I have witnessed before. In a room of thousands, they have a way of making it personal.
From the opening note of Black Lungs, Sam and the crowd become one vocally, such is the volume of the crowd they at times drown him out. Using every inch of the stage the crowd lap up every word they hear, so when Sam tells them to drop to their knees during be very afraid they don’t need to be asked twice.
“We are Architects it is our pleasure to be here in Adelaide, or should I say fucking Radelaide, we travelled 45 hours to be here.” says Sam. After a few technical issues we are pelted with the opening drum beat of Modern Misery. The first notes of These Colours Don’t Run ring out before the band suddenly stops the show and they leave the stage. Confusion as to what is happening only lasts a minute before security guards come running from all directions. The stage side curtain starts to move violently before collapsing to the ground. By this time someone has told me that a guy has stormed the stage, and we watch as he is ejected by security. Concerned, we wait as we are unsure if anyone has been hurt or if the band will take the stage again. Sam returns to the stage visibly shaken to address the crowd. He is angry and rightly so. “We give our energy and our lives and work so fucking hard to turn around and see someone fucking run on stage and run at Josh. That is fucking insane. This isn’t a game this is our fucking lives.” Sam went on to say, “When the guy was screaming in my face, telling me to respect Tom (Searle) and play some old songs we were playing the oldest song in the set you stupid fuck. We respect Tom every single fucking day of our lives” He went on to say that we need to understand the way people talk to each other is not on and that there is no need for violence. He got us to shake that bad vibe off because he was not going to let a piece of shit ruin our night. This is how Kings handle shit, what could have been our night over seemed to fuel the band to give us a once in a lifetime show.
Dedicating the song to Tom, the band began again, and throw everything they have at it. For the next two hours we are given the very best that Architects can give and then some. Royal Beggars, A Match Made In Heaven, Doomsday and Nihilist played alongside when we were young, tear gas and a new moral low ground. You can’t witness Architects live without becoming emotional and tonight was no exception. The intensity of the kaleidoscope of sounds being sent out into the space that we held for the band was mind blowing. The night was the release that we all needed, and we are forever grateful to Architects for providing us with the music to do just that.