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ATREYU: The Beautiful Dark Of Life

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Spinefarm Records

December 8

I think I remember something about this band from back in the 2000s, and they’ve definitely been flooding my social media feeds lately with memes about being the OG metalcore band or something like that. I don’t really get the memes though because I remember them floating around when Nu-Metal was at its peak and I refused to listen to anything with core in its name, which I still do. What I did get though is the chance to review their new album before any of you unlucky bastards even get to listen to it. Well, a few songs anyway because it turns out they have already released 3 EPs leading up to this release which fill out the rest of the album.

Anyway, I have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, so I’m just gonna start listening to this album and tell you what I think about it. The opening track Drowning kicks off with some gospel hums and then kicks in very quickly with a bunch of rocking chugs. These stop just as quickly as the singer starts singing at me real nicely. This continues for a bit, but the guitars get a little heavier and some other bloke joins in for some screams. They don’t really fuck around, and the song gets pretty big, pretty quickly. The riffs are big!

Next up is Insomia which starts like some kind of Disney musical crossed with a Panic At The Disco sin or tragedy or some shit like that. It’s a weird little adventure, quirky as fuck but still kind of cool. The choruses are big and rocking and somehow manage to pull it all together. I’m still not sure about the whole metalcore thing, it’s a bit too melodic for that kind of carry on if you ask me. You didn’t though, so I’ll just pull my head in.

Are we all just Capital fucks? Not sure, but some angry bastard screams it at me in the start of Capital F. This one is bouncy as fuck, Nu-Metal bouncy even. I quite fucking like this, and am hoping they don’t spoil it with clean vocals. And they don’t, they just drop a big old fuck-off breakdown, followed by another big fuck-off breakdown. Ooft!

God/Devil kicks off like some kind of weird Bjork song, but I tend to say that every time a band drops in rolling bass synth at the start of a song. And I only say that because I only know that one song that she had with the big synth bass through it where she was running around in the streets. I don’t even know what it was called, but it doesn’t matter because it’s not this song. This song is pretty good once they stop fucking around.

These synth intros seem to be a bit of a thing, as do the melodic vocals all over the place. A quick angry scream lets me know the title of the track, Watch Me Burn. It fucks around a little with the synth and clean vocals and although it kind of gets going eventually with more of a rock vibe, it’s not my favourite track so far. It’s not a bad one, either.

These guys really love a good synth intro, or a not so good one, but that doesn’t matter because the riffage at the start of Good Enough is well, good enough. The follow-up melodic vocals are a bit of a mood kill though. When they decide to stop fucking around and hit a chorus, it does pick up a bit, but they quickly return to the clean stuff again. All in all, they wasted that first riff by not returning to it because it was a fucking banger!

Ok, it really needs to stop, every freaking song has an intro. This one is only quick, but they really are Dancing with Demons by recycling this format of synth intro, heavy riff, melodic verse, screaming chorus. I mean, it works and when they get there, they are heavy as fuck, but it’s starting to feel like I’m listening to an AC/DC -esque same song 100 times formula.

The breakdown is pretty fucking nasty, though, so I’ll pay that.

Guess what? Yeah, you are right, Gone starts with a synth intro, a heavy riff and then a melodic verse. They break the formula with this one though, and the chorus is also melodic. If a big fuck off heavy riff doesn’t save this one soon, I’ll probably skip to the next track. It almost gets there, but then starts sounding like a Blink 182 track. Credit where credit is due though because they do know how to drop a nasty breakdown, and as an added bonus this one has a guitar solo too.

Next up is the “focus track” which starts with a pipe organ intro. It’s called I Don’t Wanna Die, and it appears to be a “heavy” ballad. Y’all Want a Single, well here it is. And if Y’all don’t Want a single … say fuck that, cause I did.

Immortal also has a synth intro, a three note one. It kicks in with some big heavy chords, and a fuck tonne of synth which carries on into a slow, melodic, but dirty verse. The melodic choruses are big, and this one doesn’t disappoint if you are into that kind of thing. Another notable part of the Atreyu formula seems to be that each verse gets progressively heavier.

This works in their favour mostly, except that they move back to the melodic stuff too quickly. Sometimes they save it with a monster breakdown, but this time they don’t. Some more synth and melodic vocals introduce us to (i). It has this really cool chug thing that shifts in and out of some synth stabs. Interesting, something about this song wants me to like it, as much as it’s not my jam, but I’m not sure what it is.

Maybe it’s that fucking brutal breakdown that just dropped.

Siearra Deaton guests in the next track Death or Glory, and yes, I have no idea who the fuck she is either. Google tells me something about the X-Factor and Simon Cowell, both of which I could not give less of a fuck about. Sierra can fucking sing though, I’ll give her that.

Maybe another attempt at a “mainstream” single, although still pretty heavy in sections. Maybe pinch a few X-Factor fans on their way through.

Will this album go on Forever More? Nah, this is the third last track, and it’s a fucking acoustic one. It doesn’t start with a synth intro though, which is an obvious bonus. There is plenty of synth through the track but, and it’s a slow burner. Slow, slow burner which never really ignites.

More synth, more clean vocals. And I’m not tripping this time around, but this one definitely sounds like that Bjork song. Army of Me, that’s the name of the song, the Bjork one, not this one. I was confused earlier though, the song with her running through the streets is something about it being quiet, this one has her driving some big fuck off truck. Oh yeah, back to the Atreyu song, it was called Come Down, and it’s finished now.

It’s not too often an album ends with the title track, but here we are. The Beautiful Dark of Life starts where most of their songs could/should have, with a big fucking heavy riff. It does get melodic but continues to keep the overall vibe heavy. Even when the chorus opens up and the standard rock beats take over, it’s still got a fair whack of oomph to it. It’s honestly a pretty big track for a closer, and I probably would have hit it earlier in the album playlist.

Killer way to end an album, a pretty fucking good one when all is said and done. Metalcore though, nah, it’s a bit more complex than that, even though the songwriting formula can start to seem a little generic in moments. I’d buy it if I had to!

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