Tom Searle, guitarist for the British metalcore quintet Architects, has died of cancer aged 28 after a three year battle with the disease. While Tom’s name may not have been as well known as David Bowie, Prince or many of the other great musicians we’ve lost this year, his death hit me just as hard. A statement on the band’s Facebook posted by bandmate and brother, drummer Dan Searle, was met with sadness and tributes to Tom. Bands including Despised Icon, While She Sleeps, Feed the Rhino, Ne Obliviscaris, Cancer Bats, and long time friends Parkway Drive posted moving tributes to a friend they played countless shows with on the road together.
I first got into Architects five years ago and subsequently saw them play at Sonisphere in Knebworth that year (2011). Despite only playing seven songs, they packed more energy into those songs than some of the longer sets that weekend. Hearing ‘Delete, Rewind’ and getting caught up in a wall of death to ‘Early Grave’ were highlights of a great weekend; where I also saw the Big Four and performances by Slipknot, Mastodon, and In Flames to name a few.
Tom Searle was a very talented guitar player and one responsible for some of the best music Britain has produced in recent years. In an age where many fans of metal say that there will be no more big bands, Architects’ continual rise defied that and released albums that were consistently better than the last as their popularity grew. From a small band in Brighton to one of the most respected metalcore bands in the world who have graced stages in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia while picking up awards along the way. In 2008 when they signed to Century Media Records, Architects became the first British band that Century Media had signed since Napalm Death. A lot of this is down to Tom’s guitar playing. While revisiting the Architects discography today I forgot how good the riffs were. The complexity behind them was often unappreciated, they weren’t just metalcore riffs but had a level of intelligence in them that many bands lacked. The influence of Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan coupled with Sam Carter‘s vocals and powerful lyrics made Architects the force they were.
Architects are going to carry out their touring obligations and will be headlining the 5000 capacity Brixton Academy, a venue that has been headlined by some of their influences including Deftones and Slipknot. Even though Tom won’t be with them on stage, his music will be played for and loved by every person in that room. Tom was excellent to his fans as shown by this email he sent to a fan struggling with illness a few months ago. It just goes to show how lovely a person he was, kindhearted until the end. R.I.P Tom, thank you for the music.
A JustGiving page has been set up in Tom’s memory, you can donate here.