TVD Live Shots: Architects at Wembley Arena, 1/19

As a US-born metal fan living in the UK for the past three years, I thought I’ve seen the best of the best regarding both progressive and hardcore, then I heard Architects and that mindset was quickly thrown out the window.

Arguably the hottest metal band in the world at the moment, Architects have grown steadily over the past decade, but 2018 leading into 2019 was/ is the year where they are absolutely exploding and quickly soaring past their peers. I’m not quite sure how I missed them the first time around, but there is absolutely no way anyone can ignore the buzz and critical acclaim that is surging this band to the bleeding edge of all things metal with the release of their magnum opus Holy Hell.

But this is a triumph that almost didn’t happen as the band lost its lead guitarist and primary songwriter tragically on 20 August 2016. Founding guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle died at the age of 28, after living for three years with melanoma skin cancer. His condition was previously not made public, though he referenced it in the song “C.A.N.C.E.R.” Tom’s twin brother and bandmate, Dan, would take that pain and channel it into what would become Holy Hell.

Dan Searle recently spoke to NME about the creative experience stating that, “There were moments where it brought me to tears, which seems a strange thing to say about listening to your own music. There’s a feeling of melancholy present within the record because that’s what I needed.” He continued, “Listening to it now, it’s almost like a tool I needed to bring out the sadness in me. There’s a lot of value in sitting with a feeling. Sometimes it’s just hard to get those feelings out. Making an album to do that was a gift really. Not everyone has something like that.”

Holy Hell is an extraordinary record for so many reasons. There’s something for everyone here from the atmospheric intros to the raging verses and the unapologetic choruses. The lyrics are just as complex as the music, falling somewhere between the apocalypse and a glimmer of hope for humanity. It’s already critically acclaimed and topped almost every year-end list. But the band is just getting started in the new year, and they are off to one hell of a triumphant beginning in 2019 that will see them continue to tour the world.

A band such as Architects doesn’t come around very often, but when they do, and they are embraced in such a way, it makes the entire metal community stronger. It not only gives the next generation hope and inspiration, but it assists a lot of kids through a ton of difficult shit while helping them figure out who they want to be. Go get this record, put it on, turn it up, and unleash some tension—or better yet, use it as an amplifier to get shit done in the new year. Oh, and it is also a brilliant album to work out with as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found yourself with superhuman strength by the time song number three hits… hard.

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