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Atreyu
The Curse
September 2004
Released: 2004, Victory Records
Rating: 2.8/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Atreyu’s “metal” ties are debatable but THE CURSE delivers a solid dose of emo rock/metal clout that will sell a gazillion copies and probably land the fellas a magazine cover or two. I saw them on Ozzfest this year and they definitely have a great live act. Unfortunately, I get the vibe that I am too old to be listening to Atryeu. THE CURSE strikes me as the kind of music that 14-year olds at the mall would listen to while spitting on the sidewalk and banging their skateboards on the pavement. Not mallcore, but songs the suburban kids would listen to to piss of their parents. It is catchy as hell and has just the right amount of edge to it, but the whole image just seems terribly contrived and packaged to appeal to that crowd. When I saw them live, their hair was messed up just right, Dan Jacobs wielded a fluorescent green guitar, Poison t-shirt and eyeliner and the kids were going berserk for it (as I’m expected they were supposed to think, "How cool!"). That aside, the dual vocalists (drummer Brandon Saller takes care of the medlodic clean parts, while Alex Varkatzas does the roaring) and by-the-book riffs make THE CURSE a pleasant listen.



The ambient intro music of “Blood Children (An Introduction)” segues into a mighty track, “Bleeding Mascara.” This song’s powerful vocals and shredding guitar gets the ball rolling and its catchy chorus is ready for the radio. Same goes for “Right Side of The Bed” and its commercial appeal. Saller’s vocals are quite good for what they are and offset the aggressive tone of Varkatzas on these two tracks. Unfortunately this formula is WAY overdone on this record and nearly every song follows the same framework. “The Remembrance Ballad” is emo rock at its most banal but on the flipside, the band turns in a good mid-tempo instrumental with “An Interlude.” The most metal of the bunch is “Demonology and Heartache” whose dual guitar interplay echoes of the mighty Iron Maiden. Otherwise, this is pretty standard fare.



Musically, Atreyu seems to be heads above the rest and I won’t deny their live show is killer but on record, they are playing it safe too much and following every archetype written in the book of emo rock/metal. Hopefully the band will branch out a bit and explore things further on the next record because they need more to impress people over the age of consent than the by-the-numbers kiddie metal of THE CURSE.



KILLER KUTS: “Bleeding Mascara,” “Right Side of The Bed,” “An Interlude”
Track Listing

1. Blood Children (An Introduction)
2. Bleeding Mascara
3. Right Side of The Bed
4. This Flesh A Tomb
5. You Eclipsed By Me
6. The Crimson
7. The Remembrance Ballad
8. An Interlude (Instrumental)
9. Corseting
10. Demonology and Heartache
11. My Sanity on The Funeral Pyre
12. Nevada's Grace
13. Five Vicodin Chased With A Shot of Clarity

Lineup

Alex Varkatzas—Vocals
Travis Miguel—Guitar
Dan Jacobs—Guitar
Marc McKnight—Bass
Brandon Saller—Drums/Vocals

Other reviews

» Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses
by Pete

» The Curse
by Lord of the Wasteland

» The Curse
by Gabriel C. Zolman


Next review: » Atreyu - The Curse
Previous review: » Atreyu - Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses

Atreyu
The Curse
February 2005
Released: 2004, Victory Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

This is the sound of duality—It is melodic death both rising to the mainstream, and falling from grace to die alone. While not nearly as “pop” or “punk” as their previous Victory release, this will still fall short of “death metal” by many listeners’ standards. It is, however, considerably heavier, and introduces the influence of Euro metal into Atreyu’s post-hardcore mix. Artists such as In Flames and Shadows Fall are the obvious influences, and the guitar-work has improved by leaps and bounds. “Right Side Of The Bed” directly lifts its riffs from Colony-era In Flames, sounding more like In Flames than In Flames does at the moment. “The Crimson,” with its vampiric themes, will likely appeal to the goth-metal element. The vocals are standard post-death scream n’ wail. The drumming is more Lars than Lombardo. Though far more polished, fans of Killswitch Engage and newer Soilwork will find some solidarity here.

Ultimately, this will probably do more to introduce punk and hardcore fans to “real metal” than provide any sort of “real metal” substance of its own; but the scene needs this sort of thing, to fund the less accessible efforts we’ve all come to enjoy. For every Atreyu, there is a Bloodlet and a Darkest Hour; thus, rather than groan and kvetch over the album’s radio-friendly song-structures and emo-voiced choruses, it is perhaps better to be grateful for the slick Swedish metal riffing and fast drumming this release introduces to the mainstream listeners who embrace it.
Track Listing

01. Blood Children (An Introduction)
02. Bleeding Mascara
03. Right Side Of The Bed
04. This Flesh Is A Tomb
05. You Eclipsed By Me
06. The Crimson
07. The Remembrance Ballad
08. An Interlude
09. Corseting
10. Demonology And Heartache
11. My Sanity On The Funeral Pyre
12. Nevada's Grace
13. Five Vicodin Chased With A Shot Of Clarity

Lineup

Brandon Saller - Drums/Vocals
Daniel Jacobs - Guitar
Marc McKnight - Bass
Travis Miguel - Guitar
Alex Varkatzas - Vocals

Other reviews

» Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses
by Pete

» The Curse
by Lord of the Wasteland

» The Curse
by Gabriel C. Zolman


Next review: » Atrocity - Atlantis
Previous review: » Atreyu - Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses





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