It’s become rather acceptable that at this time in my life, musicians that I knew who played music from the 60s, 70s, and even 80s, will pass away. David Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston are all names that come to mind when I think of “gone too soon”. However, when I woke up to the news that Tom Searle, founding member and guitarist of Architects, had passed away, I was absolutely floored. Words could not escape my mouth because I simply couldn’t form any. I was, and still remain, at a loss. He was 28 years old. He was battling cancer and fought hard. And yet, here we are, with one less speck of brightness in this world.
I remember the first time I ever heard Architects. It was back in 2010, and I had just heard Hollow Crown for the first time. It absolutely blew me away. The heavy guitar tone, the killer riffs, the dissonance and consonance coming together to form one huge, anarchic sound that I had never really heard before. It was, and still is, an important album not only to me, but also to metalcore and heavy music as a whole. Many still call this album their crowning achievement, and a lot of that is largely due to the music. Being one of the primary songwriters alongside his brother, drummer Dan, locked in both of them to creating some fantastic grooves and even better riffs that many people still jam daily, myself included.
Unfortunately, Tom battled with cancer for the better part of 3 years. I was unaware he was even sick. The last time I saw them live, I got to meet him, and he was all smiles, with such a positive attitude, just wanting to have a good time. All he loved to do was play his music. It was his passion. You could see it in his face live and hear it in his songwriting. He had the uncanny ability to write music so heavy, but also with a purpose. many of the songs from later in the band’s career are filled with more melodic leads and ambient parts,which Tom first experimented with on The Here And Now, and continued to do with their last two albums. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us includes some of his most emotive writing as a guitarist, and it was a gift that we are able to listen to the things he wrote from the bottom of his heart.
Architects hold a special place in my heart. I have been guilty of playing my air guitar to “Devil’s Island” and “These Colours Don’t Run” since I first heard them, and this trend has continued ever since. Tom had an ability to write memorable music that sounded a lot less complex than it actually was. Make no mistake, Tom was among some of the most gifted guitarists in metal, not because of his virtuosity, but because of his ability to constantly write great music time after time. Most people lose that gift after a few years. Tom refined his craft, constantly shaping the skills he developed to deliver time after time, song after song, and show after show. It’s one of the reasons they became one of my favorite bands; they are incredibly consistent songwriters, and Tom had so much to do with that.
Twenty eight is no age for someone’s life to be taken so suddenly. Unfortunately, sometimes life takes things out of our hands, and in this case, it took a fantastic musician, and an even better person, with them. Tom will always be known as a fantastic musician, and by many he will be remembered as being a kind soul with a great heart. Having met Tom in person years ago, I can honestly qualify those statements 150%. Tom, while you may be gone, your music will live on forever. The impact you had on the scene will remain untouched. Your legacy will continue. We will always remember you as a killer guitarist with a penchant for writing emotional, heavy music. From everyone here at Heavy Blog, we send our love to your family, friends, bandmates, and anybody who you’ve connected with over the years. We don’t know what the future will hold for Architects, but we know that the impact you made in your time playing with them will stick around for decades to come.
We’ll miss you.