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Atreyu – Long Live | Album Review

Atreyu finally return with their first album since their lengthy hiatus so we took a look to see if the wait was really worth it. Is it Long Live Atreyu?

Source: Album Artwork

Source: Album Artwork

The Kings of metalcore have returned to take up their throne while the likes of fellow metalcore outfits Wovenwar and Parkway Drive have shone through in their absence. Now the Orange Country group is back with their tightest release to date and they clearly benefitted from the break with the chance to spread their creative wings in I Am War, Fake Figures and Hell Or Highwater.

When vocalist Alex Varkatzas shouts “GO!” in opener ‘Long Live’ you know to strap in for the next 54 minutes as Brandon Saller’s pounding double bass whisks you away on what feels like a journey from what Atreyu once were to what they have become, drawing from their 2004 The Curse release whilst taking breakdown inspiration from modern metalcore bands. Saller’s vocals really soar on ‘Live To Labor’ while lead guitarist Dan Jacobs is back to his shredding best. ‘I Would Kill Lie Die (For You)’ has you stomping around with metal horns raised high with its heavy mid-tempo riffage although, that routine and song structure can get repetitive after a while but ‘A Bitter Broken Memory’ shows that the band can still write a damn good ballad and their hook-writing skills are at their peak with one of the catchiest choruses of their career. If you need a self-affirming anthem to pick your spirits up, ‘Do You Know Who You Are’ is the one for you with its power to lead an army of thousands to self-confidence and success.

‘Revival (Interlude)’ allows for a brief breather with some calming acoustic Spanish guitar before ramping it back up to 11 with ‘Heartbeats And Flatlines’ followed by the biggest highlight of the record, ‘Start To Break’, which is sure to go down in their history alongside ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’ and ‘The Theft’. The guitar melody is addictive, the chorus is catchier than herpes at a brothel and Saller is really proving himself to be one of the finest drumming vocalists in rock history. Album closer ‘Stronger Than Me’ is the heaviest of 14 tracks and even features an epic-sounding orchestra, summing up just how big Atreyu have gone this time.

This is one of Atreyu’s strongest albums and brings together elements that everyone loves from 2002’s Suicide Notes And Butterfly Kisses through to 2009’s Congregation Of The Damned. There’s something for every single fan on this record and will have everyone saying Long Live Atreyu.

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