ATREYU – In Our Wake (Album Review)

Atreyu are an American metalcore band from Orange County, California, formed in 1998. The band is made up of vocalist Alex Varkatzas, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist Marc “Porter” McKnight, and drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller.

They have released seven studio albums: Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (2002), The Curse (2004), A Death-Grip On Yesterday (2006), Lead Sails Paper Anchor (2007), Congregation of the Damned (2009), Long Live (2015) and the latest, In Our Wake.

ATREYU – In Our Wake

Powerful melodic vocals, pummelling drums and crunching guitar is the order of the day, as first track “In Our Wake” blares from the speaker cones. All the usual Atreyu cliches are there from the off and I’m hoping there’s more to this album than more of the same. The breakdown at the 2 minute mark is slamming and the guitar work throughout is as good as ever, but this could have been the start to any Atreyu long player.

House of Gold” has a power chorus that’s anthemic and will have you humming along all day. The guitar is sweet and melodic throughout, punctuated with little intricacies. The blend of clean and screamed vocals make it sound like there’s a vocal battle going on.

The Time Is Now” kicks in with a gang chorus and an almost rap like vocal. This track reminds me very much of Papa Roach in its vocal style and harmonies throughout.

Nothing Will Ever Change” is as heavy as shit from the off, with a guttural scream, pounding double kick, crunching staccato guitar and some wicked squealing lead, which all come together in a hell of a chorus. The 2 minute breakdown kicks off and just sounds so heavy… if your head isn’t banging away to this, then you’re dead. The solo is ripping and almost Brian May like in parts.

Blind, Deaf and Dumb” kicks in with the title screamed out in rap-like unison. The vocals are spit out with venom through the verse as the drums rattle around in the background, along with an almost electronic sounding rhythm. This reminds me a little of the Beastie Boys and finally sees a change in direction.

Terrified” starts off sounding all electronic and filled with finger clicks before it sprawls into a ballad of sorts. This is definately their big radio hit for this year. It’s not just big chorus; the whole track has that anthemic chorus like sound to it.

Safety Pin” destroys, as it begins as a seething guitar track and then quickly turns melodic with a very big chorus.  I love that little guitar riffing below the vocal line for the verse.

Into The Open” is fast and furious.  The guitar riff reminds me of something I can’t put my finger on right now. There’s an electronic tinge to the vocals through the verse, which is Marilyn Manson style.  However, all is saved by a massive chorus and the breakdown rips in this one.  These guys are the masters of the anthemic chorus after all!

Atreyu

Paper Castle” has a dance beat as it starts and the vocals laid over it fit so well. The vocals are furious and the electronic sounds enhance away in the background. This track is a bit like Bring Me The Horizon, but it’s nice to see them doing something different.

I love the guitar at the start of “No Control“, as it has that punk electronic sound to it. When the bass rumbles in along the verse, it is thumping. To be honest, the only thing that spoils the track this time is the big anthemic chorus; it wasn’t really needed and I was hoping there was going to be a surprise instead.

Hold on!  We have a dance track going on here as “Anger Left Behind” hits. However, it turns into total heaviness which sounds awesome before they somewhat spoil it with another huge chorus and it’s all starting to sound the same to me.  The problem is that there’s a tried and trusted formula going on here. Something different with the verse, then huge chorus and finally the 2 minute breakdown comes in right on time.

As the final track “Super Hero” rings out, we’re greeted by an acoustic intermittently picked line with some nice twin lead over the top. This is great.  There’s strings and horns and god knows what else on here. It reminds me of a heavy Beatles. The vocals are soft and melodic and build gently to a fitting chorus, instead of an overblown one. This is the best track on the album and, as the album comes to a close, I wish they had shown more of this side to their game. In addition, M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold fame guests with his vocals weaving around the track.

Final Thoughts…

All in all, another great album from the Atreyu boys, filled with hints of a new direction but not enough to lose any old fans.

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