Five years ago today, Architects fans the world over received the news that Tom Searle had died, having lived with cancer for three years. The last album he made with the band, 2016’s All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, featured references to the end of his life, probing the nature of the reality he’d occupied for 28 years, and what, if anything, lay ahead for him beyond this physical realm. While creating punishing riffs was Tom’s talent, lyrics were his gift, not just in the sense he was adept at writing them, but because they imparted something profound upon listeners: an informed perspective on the biggest and most important topics. This is, after all, the man who once implored ‘Don’t lose sight of what matters most’ in his lyrics.
Those fans benefiting from Tom’s example include Aaron, 24. So much so, in fact, that speaking about his late hero makes him emotional. “But I feel obligated to do so, so that people know how much he and Architects mean to me.”
Aaron grew up in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and first heard Architects in 2014, when Gravedigger and Naysayer, the opening two tracks from that year’s Lost Forever // Lost Together album enjoyed generous airplay. It wasn’t just their rotation that was heavy either, with the Brighton band’s predilection for colossal riffs appealing to the teenager’s burgeoning tastes, though the onslaught was a bit too much for the rest of his family. “Particularly my dad and sister,” he laughs. A couple of years and difficult experiences later, Aaron’s fandom reached new fervour with the release of All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, which he considers to be nothing short of “the most important record released in [his] lifetime”.