Architects

support While She Sleeps + Heights
author AP date 11/10/12 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Over the past couple of years Denmark has well and truly established itself as one of the staple countries to visit while on tour. This, of course, poses the unprecedented first world problem of sometimes having to choose between two or three great gigs on the same day, such as was the case here. With the iconic Voivod playing at Loppen as well, it was a bit of a predicament for me where to go. But given my familiarity with all three bands tonight, not to mention the chance to see Architects headlining for the very first time, I eventually decided to go for Pumpehuset for an evening of metalcore.

Heights

Heights

It does not take long for Heights to rile the crowd into a frenzy of karate moshing and aping around the pit like closet gang bangers. It is hardly a surprise, given that Heights have chosen their most direct and aggressive songs to kick the evening off - a stark contrast to their otherwise melodic, contemplative style they practice. Thankfully the band's hardcore tendencies gradually take a less prominent role in the proceedings, allowing those of us wanting to absorb the subtleties of the band's music to appreciate the concert, too. You see, Heights have begun exploring post-metal territory of late, and it is here - and not in stomping hardcore - that the extent of their talent can be measured. Granted, it's not quite as grand as the likes of Devil Sold His Soul or Rinoa, but there are certainly similarities between them and Heights, and with the proper cultivation of this songwriting approach, Heights are well on their way to becoming one of the mainstays of British post-metal.

It's hard to fault the band for their performance, either. Despite effectively switching genre after the two first songs, the audience maintains its crazed state throughout as a response to Heights' own expression on stage. When vocalist Alex Monty is not spitting out furious rhetoric, he's surfing the crowd, dangling from the rafters, or sharing the microphone with what looks to be ten-or-so diehard fans upfront. His partners in crime, guitarists Dean Richardson and Tom Green are equally enthused, constantly moving, throwing their instruments around and leaning into the crowd whilst reciting Monty's vocals. All this makes for a very solid show, which will doubtless become even better once Heights lose the generic hardcore influences and focus on their strengths.

While She Sleeps

With their Danish live debut 1½ years ago still fresh in my memory, the intensity of While She Sleeps' show tonight comes as no surprise to me. Still, the experience of seeing such an active, passionate group of musicians live is no less satisfying this time, especially as it is an opportunity to assess the live worthiness of the new songs with their more positive tone and technically demanding structure. One of those is provided right off the bat; "Dead Behind the Eyes", which also serves as the opening track to "This is the Six" sounds every bit as ferocious as it does on record, and when the anthemic chorus "We are nothing like these creatures / Guilty, scared, I can't forget / You starve pride to feed your selfishness" kicks in, it is sung back by an impressive amount of people, to the extent that the "Hey! Hey! Hey!" gang shouts coming from a backing track are obscured by the crowd's take on them. This promises to be a good show.

While She Sleeps

Indeed, While She Sleeps do not disappoint. Treating us to a further four tracks from "This is the Six" with the title track, "Our Courage, Our Cancer", "False Freedom" and "Seven Hills", as well as the two standout tracks from 2010's "The North Stands for Nothing" - the title track and fan favorite "Crows" - the band shows us how far they've come since being spotted by Bring Me the Horizon's Oliver Sykes last year. I find myself being quite shocked at how many people here are into the band and know the songs - in a positive way of course. The singalongs are constant and loud, and their effect is fueling the band into an even more raucous performance, with all three axemen - guitarists Sean Long and Mat Welsh, and bassist Aaran McKenzie - putting on their own personal displays of madness around vocalist Lawrence Taylor's commanding performance. Some of the wow factor is gone of course, since the magic of seeing the band for the first time is no longer there. But with no man on stage sparing even an ounce of energy, this performance is further proof that While She Sleeps are one of the best live bands in the UK right now, not to mention one of its most exciting prospects within the metalcore genre.

8

Architects

As mentioned before, this is the first time Architects plays a headlining gig in Denmark, so it is quite surprising to see such a sizable audience here to meet them. Sam Carter sounds genuinely taken aback when he tells us that the band had expected to be playing to five people tonight, and now, facing a 200-strong crowd, the Brighton based fivesome can hardly curb their enthusiasm. Having flown in from Australia earlier in the day, the five youngsters are visibly jetlagged, yet somehow, with their last drops of energy, the band musters up the best Architects show I've seen to date (including this one, I'm up at six times).

It certainly does not hurt that the entire audience is engaged, relentlessly moshing and singing along to every word Carter spits out. This is hardly a surprise, as a nicely balanced setlist that draws from each of the band's three most recent albums with nearly equal weight ensures that no matter your favorite, you get to hear your favorite tunes. Still, the band has evolved enough that the reaction is more subdued during the likes of "Dethroned" and "Numbers Count for Nothing", and bewildered when the Architects roll out songs like "Day in Day out", "Daybreak", "Delete, Rewind" and "Devil's Island". The brand new tracks from this year's "Daybreaker", in particular, force quite an impression on me, as the larger sound and occasional orchestral samples in them makes them some of the best songs Architects have ever written, with a live setting in mind.

Architects

When it comes to the performance, one might expect the guys to be a little exhausted. Yet somehow they manage to put on a show marked above all by its intensity. I remember seeing Architects a couple of times thinking they really needed to work on the visual aesthetic of their performance; tonight no such thoughts enter my mind, as the band functions as a single unit, teeming with energy and enthusiasm. No band member restricts himself to standing still and simply delivering the parts - every chord is struck with immense passion; every bass note with a huge punch; and every drum hit with the sort of enraged conviction you look for in drummers.

Architects end things on a high note as well, giving us first their heaviest track "Early Grave" - a sure shot fan favorite, which blows the madness into even greater proportions - and then "These Colours Don't Run", which provides an absolutely monumental conclusion to an excellent performance. Architects have finally hit their stride, it seems, and established themselves as a band you should rely on to produce a genuine tour de force every time.

8

Setlist:

  • 01. The Bitter End
  • 02. Alpha Omega
  • 03. Day in Day out
  • 04. Dethroned
  • 05. Learn to Live
  • 06. Daybreak
  • 07. Follow the Water
  • 08. Even If You Win, You're Still a Rat
  • 09. Numbers Count for Nothing
  • 10. Delete, Rewind
  • 11. Outsider Heart
  • 12. Devil's Island
  • 13. Early Grave
  • 14. These Colours Don't Run

Like our pictures? Check out more from Julie Decome Photography

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.