During a music festival in the summer of 2010 I saw a metalcore group from California called ATREYU. It turns out that this band has been around for more than a decade and I have always felt like they don’t belong to metal, but their music has really never bothered me either. After taking a long five-year hiatus, ATREYU are now back with their newest release Long Live (Spinefarm Records).
Lots of different comments, reviews, opinions and thoughts have been published in regards to this record. After all, last year they made the announcement of releasing new music along with a major headlining set at South By So What?! and…let’s not talk about how bad THAT festival has been in past years. The thing that gave me a better taste of ATREYU was definitely their live performance at Knotfest 2014, which sounded incredible and showed tons of energy from the band; after all, the fans were hungry to listen to some new and old music!.
I’m not lying, once I listened to the opening track “Long Live” for the first time, I felt goosebumps. “Live to Labor” also sounds good, with a faster rhythm and representing the metalcore genre that ATREYU is qualified to play. After these couple of songs, I felt like things were starting to become a little romantic and sentimental “I Would Kill / Lie / Die (For You)” has a slow and firm introduction, which is ok, but not for four minutes when my adrenaline was already rushing hard due to the first couple of tracks.
I understand that every time a band has a new release they will feel like it’s the best thing since Paranoid from BLACK SABBATH, like they’ve never worked harder or like they just wrote their masterpiece for the seventh time. I get it, but at some point it seems like the speculation is just too much and that elevates expectations up to the fifth dimension sky, only to find that I’m falling asleep driving on my way home with “Cut Off the Head” and “A Bitter Broken Memory”, among others. When I decided to listen to the album, I felt like I was forced to give love instead of hardcore-dance with my head only. I don’t feel like experiencing any positive human emotions most of the time at all!!
A few weeks back, I remember a request that I read on ATREYU’S social media asking us who we are. “Do You Know Who You Are?” definitely holds a very valuable message that I take very seriously, but Jesus Christ, Dear Lord and the Holy Spirit, the clapping at the beginning and very, very long riffs make me just want to go back and play Congregation of the Damned or The Curse with everything I have. “Heartbeats and Flatlines” is one that finally sounds fine, it’s metal, it has some anger and doesn’t feel like a radio song, good music to jam to. “Brass Balls” feels like a rock song from the eighties, which is something that nobody can really complain if you’re a diehard MÖTLEY CRÜE fan, or something like that. This song is ok, and a lot better and more interesting than “Moments Before Dawn” by far. With the album coming to an end, “Start to Break” is definitely a really good one, from start to finish, and that makes this the second song from Long Live that I really got into.
After only one attempt at listening, and another one of “trying” to listen, I have to say first that I deeply respect the band members for doing what it seems that they love, and for writing songs that have been very special for me, even though they’re on other albums. But this time the record didn’t work out so well for me, it’s a 70% NO. Regardless of this, I have to admit that I’m very excited to catch the band at their upcoming performance at Knotfest Mexico this December. Congrats on the release to ATREYU, but I’m sticking to the older stuff for now. Pick this album up if you would like to support the band. If not, just enjoy life without it.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Long Live”, “Live to Labor”, “Start to Break”