Architects

support Stick To Your Guns + Bury Tomorrow
author PP date 25/10/16 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Architects are no stranger to the shores of Denmark, having consistently scheduled shows here to bigger and bigger crowds. Tonight they are playing in the main hall of Pumpehuset, and by a rough estimate, have sold a little over half of the available tickets to the 600 capacity venue. With excellent supporting cast and a refreshingly early start for once on a weekday, the evening was set for a memorable and a varied metalcore experience. From the emotionally charged, post-hardcore fueled Bury Tomorrow's brand through the camo shorts inspired, hardcore-driven variety of Sticks To Your Guns to Architect's modern and unique interpretation of the genre as probably its best band of the new generation, there was something on offer for pretty much every kind of a metalcore fan.

Bury Tomorrow

Bury Tomorrow

Kicking things off already 19:30 meant yours truly rushed from work and barely made it inside the venue at the end of the second song. The venue is already looking packed and the Brits are well underway in their melodic brand of metalcore that unfortunately is not getting its best treatment from the echoing confines of the venue. Ignoring the muddy sound conditions, vocalist Daniel Winter-Bates continues unabated, consistently asking us to not stand still and to participate in some way, whether putting our hands up, grabbing your mate next to you and bouncing up and down, or to get in the pit which looks surprisingly active for the opening band. The melodies are nothing short of fantastic with the harsh screams providing an excellent contrast to the higher pitch strained cleans, especially when the same dynamic is playing out in the guitars department from the racy metalcore riffs and the huge hooks that follow.

Bury Tomorrow

Winter-Bates is constantly shaking hands up front and sharing the mic with the front rows during the clean passages when he isn't busy synchronously headbanging with the rest of his crew. We are told to listen up for the next two bands when they speak as we might learn something in an allusion to the political and environmentalist nature of the next two bands, but also about how thankful the band is playing in front of new audiences where, by the looks of it, only a handful of people raise their hands up when asked who's ever seen them play before. Shame that the sound isn't crisper because the intricate nature of Bury Tomorrow songs relies heavily on just that. Still, a decent opening set that gets us warmed up to the big stuff with a huge circle pit for "Earthbound" as the last song of their set.

Stick To Your Guns

Stick To Your Guns

"This is gonna be good, I normally don't do that until third or fourth song of the set", Stick To Your Guns vocalist Jesse Barnett jokes around after falling on his ass less than fifteen seconds to their set. As usual, the hardcore warriors are nothing short of a spectacle live with enormous kick jumps and crazy display of energy on stage throughout the set. The sound may still be terrible and drowning in echo, but that's a minor detail for both the circle pit and the band on stage. Only a few songs in, when Barnett stops to speak about our parents fucking up our planet and it being our turn to fix it ("stand up and DO something!"), sweat is visibly dripping off every inch of his face, a predictable result from racing across the stage in relentless fashion thus far.

Stick To Your Guns

Lengthy speeches (or preaches, depending on your viewpoint) about the state of our planet, the environment, or refugees are delivered with equal passion as the performance itself, which actually looks a lot like a headline set given the crowd response and the nonstop movement on stage. The two-step friendly stomp sections sound brutal, the high tempo hardcore punk passages are ferocious, and the clean chants are epic, ensuring that the set has all the hallmarks of an excellent set that casts their down-tuned metalcore-influenced melodic hardcore in its absolutely best light. What's awesome is that the new songs "Universal Language" and "The Never Ending Story" from the recently released "Better Ash Than Dust" EP eclipse many of the old songs on the setlist, suggesting STYG are not quite done yet when it comes to evolving their sound for the better. A high energy performance that leaves a lasting memory every time they come around.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Nobody
  • 2. Universal Language
  • 3. Empty Heads
  • 4. Bringing You Down
  • 5. Such Pain
  • 6. What Choice Did You Give Us?
  • 7. We Still Believe
  • 8. Nothing You Can Do To Me
  • 9. The Never Ending Story
  • 10. Amber
  • 11. Against Them All

Architects

Architects

Architects were originally due to start at 21:30, but 25 minutes later they're still not on stage, which is later blamed on the crew having issues setting up. A few songs in, it becomes absolutely clear why that is. While Stick To Your Guns relied on relentless energy and an action-packed performance to get their point across, Architects go all in on their light show and jam the stage full of colorful spotlights, strobes, and smoke effects to the extent that it's impossible to see anyone other than vocalist Sam Carter on stage. Multiple flares and sharp spotlights are dancing around the stage making them impossible to ignore, which is cool for a couple of songs but gets to be way, way too much throughout the show. Worse, it has the added side effect that the band 'feel' static on stage because even if they may be moving around on stage, you're not actually able to see it properly. It's a shame because the band is otherwise renowned for their intensely tight and energetic live performances. Let's just call it an epileptic's nightmare to get the point fully across.

The audience doesn't seem to care, though. Pretty much every song has a huge sing along starting from "Nihilist" to "Phantom Fear" and especially "Gravedigger", which sees a massive bouncing mosh pit all the way down to past the mixer desk in the middle. To call the response massive is an understatement and goes a long way to support the claim for Architects being one of the very best metalcore bands around these days. The pit looks vicious, the chant alongs loud and clear, and the songs are exceptional. The echoing sound does them no favours, though, where the raw vocals are extra difficult to make out, but with the setlist focusing almost exclusively on the melodic brilliance of new album "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" and its predecessor "Lost Forever // Lost Together", we get plenty of back-chilling strained cleans to make up for it.

Nevertheless, the set is not exactly as memorable as it should be, and that is exclusively due to the insane light show that's about ten times more intense than it needs to be in practice. It says a lot that it took me more than half of the show to even realize that the back banner is actually a video spinning a logo because it simply hasn't been visible. With the band practically drowning in the special effects, it removes the ability to connect with the band members on stage in the same way as we did, for example, with Stick To Your Guns or even the main band itself compared to the last time they played in Copenhagen. Luckily, an excellent setlist makes sure everyone leaves the venue with a smile on their faces, if somewhat a nostalgic feeling after final song "Gone With The Wind" is dedicated as a memory for their primary songwriter and guitarist Tom Searle, who passed away in August after a three-year battle with skin cancer. To date, the band have not promised they'll ever release new music unless it's something Tom would be proud of. Time will tell. A solid show, but the band needs to seriously cut down on the light show for the next tour.

Setlist:

  • 1. Nihilist
  • 2. Deathwish
  • 3. These Colours Don't Run
  • 4. Dead Man Talking
  • 5. Early Grave
  • 6. Phantom Fear
  • 7. The Devil Is Near
  • 8. Broken Cross
  • 9. Downfall
  • 10. Gravedigger
  • 11. Colony Collapse
  • 12. Follow The Water
  • 13. Gravity
  • 14. Naysayer
  • --Encore--
  • 15. A Match Made In Heaven
  • 16. Gone With The Wind

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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