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Atreyu - In Our Wake

Atreyu
In Our Wake
by Gareth Beams at 17 October 2018, 3:59 AM

ATREYU is an American Metalcore band from Orange County, California, formed in 1998. They have released six 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 “In Our Wake” (2018)

When talking about old school Metalcore bands, you cast your mind back to the 00’s, you think of bands like ATREYU, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, TRIVIUM and AVENGED SEVENFOLD. Three out of the four bands mentioned have thrown out their Metalcore ways and turned to more mainstream sounding albums. For these bands that said they’d be the next METALLICA, well they were wrong. The bands have turned into a watered down mess, leaving Metalcore damaged and weak. Can ATREYU keep the flag flying high?

To keep the answer simple… No. If you love old ATREYU, or even 2015’s Long Live, then you may want to skip this album. If you’ve never heard ATREYU before (have you been living under a rock?) then you can probably get into this album fairly easily.

The band had entered into the studio between tours, taking a fresh “from scratch” approach to writing. They welcomed back Producer John Feldmann (who’d worked with ATREYU on “Lead Sails, Paper Anchor”) to help on the desired quality. Brandon Saller: “I feel like this is the record that people will remember our band by,” he says, “The best parts of ATREYU happened on it.” Vocalist Alex Varkatas cites the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington as a stepping-stone. “Their deaths were fresh during the writing process. It made us think of what we’ll leave in our wake. We have a choice to change the lives of others for the better.”

Ok, ATREYU fan mode off…

There was a time when ATREYU were truly pioneers within the Metalcore genre, a force not to be scoffed at. Their first three albums still remaining classics in modern metal history, a different approach, with the drummer playing out as a vocalist, it hadn’t been done (much) before. But, to be honest, the band has not released another other than mediocrity since 2006’s “A Death Grip on Yesterday”, and “In Our Wake” is barely much of an exception.

The album’s opening (title) track is fair at best, and sets the tone for the initial few tracks on the album, all of which feel far too generic and stretching to achieve mainstream attention, this being something we have witness with bands like BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, TRIVIUM, PAPA ROACH, and LINKIN PARK, to mention a few from this generation. However, things do drastically improve by the time “Nothing Will Ever Change” kicks in just under the halfway mark. From there on out, tracks like “Into the Open”, “Paper Castle”, “Terrified”, “Safety Pin”, “No Control”, and “Blind Deaf & Dumb” are all actually pretty damn effective in their own ways, as vocals are shared fully for the first time, and some of the additional sounds are enjoyable, though after a few songs it is a well-used sound we have come to live with.

Nothing Will Ever Change” is the only song with anything that can be described as aggressive, but is still a poor attempt from a band that was once full of passion on stage and in the studio. The album is filled with more sound effects than a Tom and Jerry cartoon. It is a shame that they have taken the easy way out like so many before them.  As Loudersound wrote: “’The Time Is Now’, No Control’, and ‘Nothing Will Ever Change’ could easily sit on ASKING ALEXANDRIA or PAPA ROACH’s most recent records, while ‘House Of Gold’s’ chorus provides an instant sugar hit, as well as following in the anthemic footsteps of one-time peers AVENGED SEVENFOLD. It’s fitting then, that M. Shadows adds a raspy verse to closer ‘Super Hero’, a cheesy ballad with real emotional clout.”

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In Our Wake
2. House Of Gold
3. The Time Is Now
4. Nothing Will Ever Change
5. Blind Deaf & Dumb
6. Terrified
7. Safety Pin
8. Into The Open
9. Paper Castle
10. No Control
11. Anger Left Behind
12. Super Hero
Lineup:
Alex Varkatzas – Lead Vocals
Dan Jacobs – Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Brandon Saller – Drums, Co-Lead Vocals, Percussion, Piano, Programming, Keyboards, Additional Guitar, Production
Travis Miguel – Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar
Marc "Porter" McKnight – Bass, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Spinefarm Records
     


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