REVIEW: Architects Impress at Playstation Theater

It’s no secret that I don’t like metalcore. In fact, it’s common knowledge among my peers that I hate metalcore, so much that I typically go out of my way to avoid metalcore shows entirely. But many of my peers harped on and on about how great Architects are live and how much fun they are to see, so when they came to NYC’s Playstation Theater I figured it was worth checking them out. My initial response: holy shit. I could leave it right there because if you know me, those two words say it all when it comes to metalcore. I’ve never had any reaction to a metalcore show other than “meh” and always try to come up with an excuse for leaving after a few songs.

That was not the case with Architects as they proceeded to blow me away for a dozen songs. It certainly helped that the band are not straight up metalcore like many others in the scene, with obvious hints of industrial metal in their music and less high-pitched screaming than I had expected. Of course, the backstory behind the band’s continued journey following the death of guitarist Tom Searle makes their shows even more of a life lesson in that you don’t give up no matter what comes at you. I was genuinely left wanting more from a metalcore band for the first time, but even if the band had planned a longer setlist, “more” would not have been possible.

You see, the band’s fans are crazy, perhaps a bit too crazy for their own good as one fan either broke his leg or popped his ACL in the mosh, resulting in a 30-minute-or-so delay leading up to the band’s final song, which they were almost unable to play due to curfew. Many fans filed out, about half stayed hoping to hear the planned end of the show. I stuck around not knowing if an otherwise incredible show would come to an end in the most anticlimactic way possible, but I wasn’t willing to risk missing one more tune after being thoroughly impressed by songs like Downfall, Broken Cross, A Match Made in Heaven, and Doomsday. I had been told so many great things about Gone With The Wind, and that was scheduled to be the last song before the abrupt stoppage as the band waited on stage for about a half hour before EMS arrived, carted the injured soul out and then, finally, after thanking the fans who stayed, played their last song and ended the show the way it was meant to end.

I’m not saying I’ll start listening to metalcore or going to more metalcore shows – I never did like getting kicked in the head by crowd surfers and I like it even less now with very expensive toys slung over my shoulder – but I’m very much a fan of Architects as lead vocalist Sam Carter and company continue to put on fantastic shows while releasing songs started by Tom Searle which were left unfinished with his death. It’s really something you need to see live to believe and it’s rare to see a band go out and play every show like it might be their last, doing it for the guy they lost nearly two years ago. That’s a great fucking band right there.

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