Tonight one of Britain’s most underrated bands returned to Birmingham. Last time they were in town, they played the Library in the Institute; tonight they have graduated into the main room. Sadly due to the clusterf*ck known as the London-Midlands Rail services, I missed the first band on, Landscapes, however I hear from good sources that they were really impressive and easy to see why they are one of the most exciting British hardcore bands around currently. Next on were Northlane [7/10], another killer band emerging from the incredible Australian metal scene which is so vibrant at the moment. Playing a set that consisted solely of songs from their new album Singularity, they went down really well. Their unique brand of sludgy metalcore sounded great, combined with the energy the band brought which was reciprocated by one of the most energetic crowds that Birmingham has seen in a while.
Up next were Stray From The Path [8/10] who brought their incredible mix of Nu-Metal and New York Hardcore to the stage. From the opening with the anthemic ‘Badge and A Bullet’, the crowd erupted into a chaotic mess of mosh pits and crowd surfers. The best thing about this band live was the swagger that they brought to the show which is very rare to see even in more well-established bands. Songs such as ‘Bring It Back To The Streets’ and ‘Radio’ are songs that are worthy of the band headlining this venue by itself.
It’s hard to believe tonight’s headliners Architects [9/10] have been a band for almost a decade. Opening with ‘Gravedigger’ and ‘C.A.N.C.E.R.’ both off the new album Lost Forever // Lost Together, these went down a storm, somewhat surprisingly since the album had only released 2 days before, however do not underestimate the passion of the fanbase that Architects have. The steady tidalwave of crowd surfers and massive pits just highlighted that for this band it was S.N.A.F.U. Playing songs mainly from the last two releases just show how far Architects have come as a band; they have finally stepped out of the shadow of their masterpiece Hollow Crown.
Though the Institute is the biggest venue that they are playing on this tour, they were a perfect fit. It would be easy to copy everyone and just lament how Sam Carter is an extremely underrated frontman, but simply put he really is one of the best British vocalists around currently. His voice is incredible, whether it is singing or screaming, and his onstage banter is a mix of modesty and highlighting a cause the band support, in the form of Sea Shepherd. Songs such as ‘Naysayer’ slotted into the live set seamlessly with old fan favourites such as ‘Follow The Water’. With the high quality of songs, combined with some fantastic showmanship and an impressive light show, Architects looked at home in a room of this size. Let’s hope this is the start of some big things for a band that truly deserves it.
Words by Sam Taylor