Atreyu is the kid in the book and film Never Ending Story, who, in one of the 80’s most poignant and sad movie scenes, loses his best friend, his horse, before making a triumphant return, on a cocker spaniel it seems, to save Fantasia, all the while backed by a catchy song people still sing today. So where does the Californian band of the same name fit in?
With new album In Our Wake, Atreyu return for their second album since their hiatus of sorts and before we get right into the album, I’ll call it now. It’s the album Avenged Sevenfold should’ve made two albums ago, it’s that good. So pretty triumphant then.
So what makes it special then? It’s the multi vocals, the production sound, the song writing and yes, those choruses. By being able to use more than one vocalist, it’s allows for different styles and melodies throughout, which rather than hinders actually enhances the album flow song by song.
Opening with In Our Wake it’s fast paced, showcasing the bands punk roots while enhancing their melodic pop sensibilities. Lyrically it’s about what type of world we are leaving for our children while track two House Of Gold is dynamic with soft and heavy layers making the song breathe. It’s message is uplifting however the rolling of the ‘r’ becomes tiresome.
Then there is my call for one of the tracks of the year, The Time Is Now. A ticking clock, gang vocals, bombastic orchestration , guitars for days, it’s cheesy and I love it. Real stadium filling material!! Oh and hummable, like 2am and can’t sleep because still humming it’s that’s catchy.
Nothing Will Ever Change is the most Avenged Sevenfold like, the double kick of the drums, the stop start of the song, the uplifting vocals. That breakdown just purrs like a happily fed cat. The boys shake it all up on Blind Deaf & Dumb, which is essentially a rap song with a killer riff, and the ballad Terrified before bringing the punk sound back on Safety Pin.
The guys have got it on this album, they’ve got the swing as shown on Into The Open. Combining gang vocals with soaring melodies, the use of orchestration is perfect, not over the top, which is another layer of the bands sound, before the breakdown from hell blasts through the speakers.
Paper Castle and Anger Left Behind are as catchy as a STD on a boys trip away before the epic finale Super Hero, featuring M Shadows from the aforementioned Avenged Sevenfold and Aaron Gillespie from Underoath sharing vocals. Drummer and vocalist Brandon Saller is quoted as saying he wants this to be a ‘Disney’ type song and you certainly get that feel.
This album has grandeur, a gigantic sound, a soundtrack very much to someone’s life. Much like the kid in the movie, it’s a triumphant return of an album. It’s incessantly catchy, it’s chorus filled, it’s the sound of a band that should be playing arenas around the world. This album should be given the credence it deserves and maybe, just maybe, we’ve arrived at this bands Fantasia. Maybe, the bands story is set to not end but rather take another leap.
Album Review by Iain McCallum