Architects / Beartooth / Polaris – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – 18/01/19
Architects’ domination within the music scene over the years has made them unstoppable as one of the most progressive, lyrically poignant and influential bands in the British metal scene. The Holy Hell tour stopped off in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff to conquer the Motorpoint Arena with the supporting acts of Beartooth and Polaris.
The Australian outfit POLARIS (8) were greeted with an significant crowd, the early door time being a huge advantage to giving the band a fighting chance at powering through their half hour set. Vocalist Jamie Hails gets the audience to light up the room with mobile phone torch lights and catching the crowds attention shows he is a natural front man, especially with the nerve-wracking task of opening the show. Their sound was layered with searing growls and dominating melodic hooks, though expected of metalcore, was projected with flawless delivery. POLARIS provided a solid foundation for the rest of the nights’ events.
The anticipation and excitement radiating from the crowd was evident as BEARTOOTH (9) were being greeted with a warm response as they dove in head first with ‘Aggressive’. The set included a mix of older songs and a dash of new such as ‘Manipulation’ and ‘You Never Know’ but the former are definitely their most popular amongst the audience. The chanting intro of ‘one life, one decision’ by Caleb Shomo introducing ‘Body Bag’ drops into a simplistic yet bouncy riff which saw the audience go from 0 to 100 instantaneously, one of the highlights of their set by far. The incredibly harmonious track ‘In Between’ emphasised Shomo’s virtuosity, demonstrating a melodic side to his vocal range alongside his snappy barks. The set was abruptly stalled with an unexpected drum solo which suppressed the energy in the room immensely, this move perhaps a tad needless as the set was going strong beforehand. The set concluded with Shomo serenading the room with more mellow track ‘Disease’, the audience joining in. BEARTOOTH had a strong and dynamic set, their rise through the ranks of metal has made them a band to watch and after this performance, their popularity is undoubtable.
ARCHITECTS (10) monumental debut was beckoning, the aura raiding from the audience was that of pure ecstasy. The thundering symphonies of ‘Death Is Not Defeat’ tear through the venue and the song descends into a monumental chorus, ARCHITECTS are set to conquer from the get-go. The third song ‘Nihilist’ saw a cacophonous explosion of fireballs surge up from the stage, reflecting the flawlessness of ARCHITECTS’ stage production. Holy Hell material was the most substantial part of the set, these tracks were performed with impeccable technical and vocal flair, sounding even more monumental and crushing live; solidifying the foundation ARCHITECTS have built for their ever-progressing sound.
No one could ever be a replacement for the late Tom Searle, but Josh Middleton steps up and delivers ferocious chugging riffs with undeniable passion. Middleton alongside other guitarist Adam Christianson work flawlessly as a team, Tom’s brother Dan Searle leading the crusade on drums, coupled with bassist Alex Dean and the dynamism of Sam Carter’s vocal range all come together to project an unbelievably colossal sound that is commanding and riveting, completely mind-blowing. The metalcore masterpieces ‘Naysayer’ and ‘Grave Digger’ brought out Carter’s signature ‘bleugh’, echoed by the crowd with a powerful roar and the iconic lyrics of ‘You Fucking Pigs’ within ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ sent the crowd into a frenzy.
These tracks are reminisce of the earlier days of the band’s more metalcore discography; demonstrating how they’ve come a long way since. The rumbling intro riff of ‘A Match Made In Heaven’ trembled the venue’s foundations with the audience screaming the lyrics back, the verse met with a frantic dazzling lightshow. Sam Carter’s gentle melodies were delivered with sentiment during ‘Gone With The Wind’, the song dedicated to Tom Searle always strikes a nerve. A deafening bang of confetti rained down on the audience as the track ‘Doomsday’ rang out into the crowd, the set was absolutely insane from start to finish, the band not letting the energy die down even for a second. ARCHITECTS have set the bar extremely high and have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Check out more live photos from this show of Architects, Beartooth & Polaris here!
Photography & review – © Steph Evans