The anticipation was at a fever pitch as the crowd of Architects fans packed in to night two of a sold out set of shows at New York’s Gramercy Theater. 2016’s All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, the latest album from the UK metal-core band, showed growth through brutish and guttural honesty. On the heels of that triumph, lead guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle lost his battle with skin cancer in August 2016. Life can deal you both sides of the coin in a short amount of time – which in turn makes the band’s U.S. tour all the more courageous.
Before the headliners took the stage, Long Island’s very own Stray From The Path added their own brand of introspective insanity into the mix. The Tom Morello-like opening chord to “Badge & A Bullet Pt. II,” a song off of their 2015 album Subliminal Criminals, added to a set that saw lead singer Andrew Dijorio stand on top of the crowd as they all reached out their hands to him like a hero’s welcome return to his hometown.
“What we talk about is very real,” said Dijorio at one point in the set to an outpouring of applause. “We’re not trying to sell you something like Instagram followers, that’s not real. We don’t use this stage to prey on young girls or any type of sexual abuse. Fuck Front Porch Step. Fuck Brock Turner.” Seeing this band live many times before, you understand that they take responsibility in the platform that they have and are not scared to share their views.
Lights fell low and like a sucker punch changing the contours of your face, Architects blasted into “Nihilist”. Flashes of light, whether bright white or green, conjured up the joint purgative energy of the band and fans alike. As music listeners, many times we look to our favorite instances of music as an escape – the feeling was rather mutual.
Therapy transformed into a stage for musicians who had their foundation shaken. The band moved into “Deathwish,” continuing their sonic assault. The brief pauses in these songs that serve as a pause of pummeling guitars and percussion served a different purpose given the recent events. The moments were the lights stood still and the music had a quick calm like the eye of a hurricane, a metaphor for the last year and a half life of Architects.
“New York is a beautiful thing – a very industrial way, but beautiful,” said Architects lead singer Sam Carter during a brief reprieve as he collected himself. We all have our ways to permeate through the grieving process. The outlook within AOGHAU is very unforgiving and bleak. What could be considered the band’s greatest effort held them together to solider on through one of their most emotional shows in a long time.