Atreyu are an American metalcore band that were part of the generation that helped push the genre (which at its simplest is a fusion between metal and hardcore) to the mainstream in the early 2000s. One of the reasons they became so popular amongst the metalcore community was because of their unique vocal set-up; the screamed vocals present in the verses were provided by lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas, whilst the clean chorus vocals were sung by their drummer Brandon Saller.
Their debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, was a raw metalcore album, with several successful tracks, but was missing some of the polish that seasoned bands achieve. The same style was then developed upon for their sophomore effort, The Curse, which helped promote the band into the mainstream with singles Bleeding Mascara and Right Side of the Bed. They followed this up with A Death-Grip on Yesterday in 2006, which was once again a refinement of their sound, with more distinct riffs, a greater contrast between melodic and heavy sections, and an improved flow to the record.
After fulfilling their contractual obligations to Victory Records by releasing a Best Of record, they signed to Hollywood Records to produce Lead Sails Paper Anchor, which marked a distinct change to the band’s sound. Many of the raw screams and metalcore elements had disappeared, replaced instead with melodic vocals and a hard rock feel. Whilst it was a very well-written record, it failed to impress a large proportion of the fan base and they quickly amalgamated this style with their metalcore roots for their fifth album, Congregation of the Damned, in 2009.
Atreyu then decided to go on a hiatus and now almost five years later the first new music from the band has surfaced. So far three tracks have been premiered, So Others May Live, When the Day is Done and Long Live, which all point towards the band fully returning to their metalcore roots. So Others May Live features extremely raw screamed vocals in the verses, juxtaposed with catchy melodic choruses, in addition to plenty of opportunities to headbang.
When the Day is Done fits perfectly into Atreyu’s back catalogue; there are galloping drum beats, breakdown riffs, bellowed group vocals, prominent lead guitar and a good mix between vocal styles. The same can be said with Long Live, which focusses on the heavier end of the band’s sound, confirming that their detour away from metalcore has finished.
The three tracks are from Atreyu’s upcoming sixth studio album, entitled Long Live, which is due September 18th. So far the record sounds closest to the style present on A Death-Grip On Yesterday, which in my opinion, is their most complete album to date. Although I did enjoy the post-Victory Records music, it is good to see a band successfully returning to their roots. It seems the hiatus was an inspired decision after all!
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