Past Entertainment Articles.

Article for the week of 4/12/06

Really Pathetic CD Review

Atreyu : A Death-grip on Yesterday

By, Cozmic

The band that “ruined hardcore” is back! And they're.. well, actually, they're a bit worse than last time.

The third full-length Atreyu album, “A Death-Grip on Yesterday,” goes in a bit of a new direction. Now, every band needs to evolve, and Death-Grip holds some nice surprises, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that this is Diet Atreyu, with the full album being another six months or so away. It's a shame, but that's how it feels.

The album starts with Creatures, what Brandon Saller, Atreyu's drummer, describes as a heavy metal song. Well, true, it isn't exactly light, but it also isn't as heavy as the previous records openers were. And Alex Varkatzas normally brilliant lyrics don't strike as big of a chord in me as they usually do, even though they aren't bad. That they are incredibly hard to read on the album sleeve doesn't improve things. All in all, it feels like a fairly weak opening of what should, by all previous accounts, be an amazingly good CD.

“Our Sick Story (Thus Far)”, with Mike Milford from Scars of Tomorrow on guest vocals, comes back with some great lyrics, just the way it's supposed to be, and the next song, the Theft, is probably a first in Atreyu history as a soft ballad with singing by both Alex and Brandon. While it isn't the best song Atreyu has made, it is the softest, and quite worth listening to, if only to hear Alex genuinely sing. Of course, the actual song itself is also quite beautiful, while still retaining some sense of Atreyu-yness with Alex occasionally screaming.
And of course, this opens up for some even more interesting possibilities on future CD's, with both Alex and Brandon having good singing voices and Alex and Marc packing an awesome scream.

The next song, “We Stand Up”, a fast-paced song filled with Atreyu's usual unwillingness to bend to other peoples will and opinions. This might be one of the more “classic”sounding songs, but it feels like somewhat of a weaker version of “You Eclipsed by Me” from the previous album, the Curse.

The sixth track is the single, “Ex's and Oh's”, yet another song that feels very different from past albums, with almost no screaming and an almost nonsensical chorus, along with a rather kicking guitar solo by both Dan and Travis.

The album ends at a measly nine tracks with an “Untitled Finale”, a song that, while it has a definite album-ending quality to it, also seems to lack the proper punch a song expects. Or maybe it's just disappointment of getting an EP with an extra track and not once getting a true heavy hitting song combining Alex's screaming and Brandon's soft singing, that could lift this album to new heights.

All in all, the guitars are a bit better than before, and have an almost classic rock sound to them, but they take up just a bit too much space and the heavy sound that I tend to associate with Atreyu suffers as a result.

Death-Grip also comes with a DVD, containing a 30 minute long feature of the band's adventures in the studio, with various interviews and thoughts. If the actual CD is silver, this is gold, as (being the sucker for these things that I am) it is constantly interesting, with looks at how the band creates, and an in general rather in-depth look at how the band actually works. And, better yet, it has, among some other videos from Victory bands, the ever so brilliant “Her Portrait in Black” video on it, Atreyu's contribution to the Underworld soundtrack. This song showcases just what Atrey can sound like at their best, and had it been included on the actual CD, it would've bumped up a few notches. As it stands now, it doesn't live up to it's potential, regardless of how much it can grow on me. For an Atreyu fan, this is still a CD well worth getting, just don't expect it to run as warm as “The Curse” or “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses”. Although, I must admit, it has grown on me quite a bit, and will likely continue to do so.

To hear samples of Atreyu, visit .




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