Almost three years to the day since they last played the venue, after the original support Issues cancelled a few weeks before the original date and after re-scheduling not once but twice, Architects finally returned to The Academy, Dublin stage! Fresh off both their European and UK dates with both Every Time I Die and blessthefall Architects were set to play two Irish dates, the other being the next day in the Oh Yeah Music Centre Belfast, supporting their sixth studio album and Kerrang! Awards 2014 Best Album, ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’. Support on the night were Dublin bands Red Enemy and Vile Regression.
Progressive Metallers Vile Regression kicked the show off to a somewhat sparse crowd as the room was still filling up. Declaring that it is their first time playing The Academy’s stage they kick proceedings off while some of the younger members of the crowd show their enthusiasm by getting the first mosh pit of the night going during the opening number. A few songs in vocalist Padraig Corke, forever the showman, declares that the next track is a new one and asks that people go nuts for it while tossing copies of their EP ‘Empires’ and T-shirts into the arms of excited members of the crowd. Declaring their final song of the night they are once again met by another decent sized mosh pit. Vile Regression gave exactly what was expected from them and their set, which was their all, which was more than enough to get the crowd, mostly full of teens who had probably never heard them before, going. Vile are a band to watch; 7/10
By the time local heroes Red Enemy, having signed to Mediaskare Records at the end of 2013 and having released their debut self-titled album in November 2014 , take to the stage the room has started to really fill up in anticipation of their set. Unlike Vile Regression who I had somehow just only seen for the first time I’ve seen Red Enemy support so many bands over the last four years, the first time being when they supported TesseracT back in 2011 in Dolans Limerick which was my first time ever seeing an international touring band live and probably what kicked off the madness of live shows for me, I’ve watched them and their live show evolve, even being lucky enough to snag my first ever interview with the band back in February 2013 when they supported Stray from the Path (which you can check out here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WGi2sK15HQ). The one thing I have said after their set every single time is that Red Enemy are one of the best live Irish Metal bands we have, and as of the last few years possibly the best one, this set was to be no different.
When a bands sampled intro is the Father Ted theme you know you’re in for a good time! Kicking things off with ‘Changing the End’ the room exploded into life as there is a sudden rush forward, you can feel the barrier shake and threaten to move under the pressure. The crowd keeping the craziness up for the entirety of Red Enemy’s set with a circle pit, a wall of death, tonnes of jumping and plenty of mosh pits going on all over the place. As the set goes on the tracks get stronger and stronger as the members of Red Enemy eat up the response from the crowd. The crushingly riff heavy ‘Poisoned Blood’ which is quickly becoming a fan favorite is a highlight of the set as it seems to be even better live and gets the entire crowd headbanging along. ‘(miss)leaders’ is another stand out before they finished the set with the expected ‘Night Eyes’ with the crowd screaming almost every single word Kevin screams right back at the band. In my opinion, that was quite possibly the set that concretes my claim that the band is the best live Irish Metal band right now; 9/10
And with that it was finally time for the main event as British Metalcore heavy weights Architects took to the stage to deafening screams from the crowd. Opening with the first helping off ‘LF//LT’ ‘Broken Cross’ instantly sets the crowd off screaming along to lines like ‘God only knows why we were born to burn’ while a huge portion of the crowd moshes away. Following it up with two more tracks off ‘LF//LT’ before playing ‘Alpha Omega’ off 2012’s ‘Daybreaker’, a single released only a few weeks after their last Irish shows which we missed out on getting to hear live then, which included an early personal highlight of the set during the emotional ‘Sun of god, Sun in the sky, If you could speak, I’m sure you’d say, ‘There’s more to me than meets the eye” section of the song. During a brief reprieve vocalist Sam Carter puts on a pair of Shamrock glasses thrown at him from the crowd to amused cheers from the crowd. This was followed up by three of the strongest tracks off ‘LF//LT’: ‘Castles in the Sky’, ‘Naysayer’ and ‘C.A.N.C.E.R.’. The emotional ‘C.A.N.C.E.R.’ reminding the crowd of how guitarist Tom Searle had overcome skin cancer only a short while ago. Sam Carter dedicated the next track to Ireland before kicking into a well received ‘Devils Island’ off ‘Daybreaker’. Next they played the fan favorite singles ‘Early Grave’ and ‘Follow the Water’ off ‘Hollow Crown’ which caused the crowd to go the most nuts they had all night. ‘Day In Day Out’, The only track off 2011’s ‘The Here And Now’, followed after ‘Colony Collapse’, with the crowd singing along enthusiastically to the chorus ‘Where did they go? The days we used to know, Where did they go? Have I forgotten what it feels like?’ Yet another highlight off ‘LF//LT’ ‘Youth Is Wasted on the Young’ followed before the band kicked into possibly the heaviest song of the set ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ off ‘Daybreaker’.
The band left the stage to calls of ‘one more song’ before returning to the sampled sound of the Carl Sagan quote section of ‘Red Hypergiant’ before kicking into ‘The Distant Blue’, which I honestly think is a very questionable song choice for part of an encore as most of the crowd stood still during it while the few that knew the words sung along, it could have been played earlier in the set and something stronger or more well known like ‘Naysayer’ could have taken its slot during the encore, it only slowed down the end of an otherwise very energetic set. ‘Gravedigger’ ended the set to a lot of fanfare from the appreciative crowd. Having played the entire (if you count the sample from Red Hypergiant, the instrumental track on the album) of ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’ Architects have showcased to their Irish fans just how strong they are now as a band, both live and on record: 8/10