Orange County, California is one of the most important cities in the music industry today. It has been one of the country’s major hotbeds of music at least since the 1980s producing such big name acts as: Agent Orange, The Vandals, Pennywise, and so many others. One of those others, Atreyu, just recently released its sixth full-length studio offering after a four-year break. The album, Long Live, is a solid return for the veteran metalcore band. That is made clear right from the album’s outset. The album’s title track/opener is a full-throttle piece that is like a musical punch to the gut with lyrics that will move listeners just as much with their defiant stance. The album’s mid-point ‘Do You Know Who You Are’ is just as impressive of an example of the fire that has been re-lit beneath the band’s members after their obviously much-needed break. Musically speaking, it is far much simpler than the rest of the songs that make up the album’s body. The social commentary of sorts held within the song’s lyrical content makes it just as impressive and interesting as the album’s title track/opener and its other included compositions. ‘Brass Balls,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is one more prime example of just how impressive this album is overall. Much like ‘Do You Know Who You Are,’ this song is noticeably different from the rest of the album’s other songs but in its own specific way. It comes across musically as a more straight forward hard rock song than the metalcore sound for which the band has come to be known over the course of its life. It is just one more example of what makes this record a solid, standout return for Atreyu. Together with the previously noted songs and those not directly noted here, the album in whole proves that the break taken by Atreyu’s members only did them good. As listeners will note in hearing all twelve of the album’s tracks the good done by the band’s break resulted in an album here that could easily be called one of the band’s best records to date and potentially one more of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.
Long Live is a fitting title for Atreyu’s sixth full-length studio effort and its first since 2009’s Congregation of the Damned. That is because the record, which can be argued to be one of the best of this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums, makes such a bold statement from the band after having taken its extended vacation. It is a statement of a band that is recharged and ready to take on both the music world and the world in whole once again with its own brand of hard rock. That is proven right from the album’s outset in its title track/opener. The song is a full-throttle, musical punch to the gut that instantly takes long-time fans back to the days of its 2006 full-length recording A Death-Grip On Yesterday and its 2004 album Curse. Guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel’s dual attack serves as the song’s foundation while drummer Brandon Saller and vocalist Alex Varkatzas give the song even more power with their own parts. Bassist Porter McKnight is just as impressive as he builds the song’s harmonies though his line. In regards to its lyrical content, the song makes just as powerful of a statement as that made by its musical content. Varkatzas screams in this song, “The past is the past/What has been done is set to stone/The future is all we have/We are the ones who set the tone/And if I should fall/The ground won’t touch me at all/We’re up in arms/Side by side/Linked in our souls. Those last two lines in which he screams, “We’re up in arms/Side by side/Linked in our souls” are perhaps the song’s most telling lines. That is because it says to the world the band is united and stronger than ever. It tells all the critics and naysayers out there that the band is going to do what it wants. There won’t be any searching for approval or special ceremonies, as noted in the song’s lead verse. The band’s members are going to collectively do what they have always done. And that is make the best music that they can for themselves and their fans regardless of what those negative types might think and/or say. Audiences can hear the song for themselves and check out the song’s companion video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xw1vt1IS2c. It is a good start for the band in its return and is only the beginning in every sense of the phrase, too. The album has plenty more to offer fans from here including another of the album’s highest points ‘Do You Know Who You Are.’
‘Long Live’ is a solid opener for Atreyu’s long-anticipated new album and just as much of a welcome re-introduction for the band after its extended hiatus. It is just one example of what makes this new recording such a solid return for the band, too. ‘Do You Know Who You Are,’ the album’s latest single, is another example of how much this album has to offer fans. The central reason that it proves itself such an impressive addition to the album in whole is its musical content. Speaking in terms of the song’s musical content it stands out clearly from every other song included in this record. It offers its own punch. Bu there is also a certain vulnerability displayed by the band in the song’s chorus. Through the course of the song’s nearly four-minute run time the combination of that musical power and vulnerability makes the song another impressive addition to the album in whole. Its musical content is only one part of what makes it such an impressive composition, too. Its lyrical side makes it just as powerful as that of its musical content. The song’s lyrical content presents an introspective commentary of sorts that will undoubtedly have listeners thinking deeply about themselves. As Saller sings in the song’s chorus, “Do you know who you are/Part of the solution or the one at fault/Look in your heart.” The question here is clear. Varkatzas adds to the song’s depth as he screams, “Pull the pin/Be Careful where the fragments go/Live for yourself/Don’t care about collateral/Damage and such don’t mean too much/When your head’s stuck up in your own a*****/It’s easy not to see (so easy)/To be blind to the fact that the problems/That lay before us as a we/Were created by the lack of our respect.” The statement here is just as clear. This is Varkatzas saying that we bring on our own problems and downfalls just as much as we bring upon ourselves our own positives by our actions. It brings the song full circle and drives home that question, “Do You Know Who You Are?” It really forces listeners to ask that of themselves when they look in that proverbial mirror. The combination of that deep, introspective lyrical content and equally powerful musical content makes the song in whole yet another clear example of what makes Long Live such a welcome return for Atreyu. Audiences can hear the song for themselves and see the song’s companion video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkNp5b6m4u8.
Both ‘Long Live’ and ‘Do You Know Who You Are’ are clear examples in their own right of why Atreyu’s new album is such a welcome return for the veteran metalcore band. While both songs show in their own way what makes Long Live such a welcome return for Atreyu, they are only a small sample of what makes this record such a solid collection of songs. ‘Brass Balls,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is yet another clear example of what makes the album a successful return for the band. As with ‘Do You Know Who You Are’ this song stands just as much on its own merits. In regards to its musical content, it comes across as more of a mainstream style composition than the band’s trademark metalcore sound that makes up the majority of the record. It opens with an almost surf punk style guitar riff that throws back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair before becoming more of a straight forward, driving sound that would fit in nicely with any mainstream radio station’s daily playlist. Saller’s time keeping keeps the song moving forward at a solid pace throughout the song’s almost three and a half-minute run time. The song’s lyrical content added to those positive musical elements make the song even more enjoyable. That is because of its no nonsense approach. Varkatzas sends a strong message to those people who love to talk so much garbage not necessarily about the band but about people in general–the bullies if one will. He sings, “There you go you dumb kid/Running your mouth again and again/Talking all that s*** with a big grin/Tripping on words again and again/Oh how exceptional the sound/Of your word vomit coming out/You’re getting caught up saying foolish things/I don’t believe half that s*** you say.” He goes on just as brutally in the song’s second verse, “Lay yourself down on the tracks/Be crucified by your own words/You’re no cross bearer/Your’e not a f****** martyr/Just a kid/Only a fool/Barely man enough to stand.” The only word that can best describe this verbal assault is “brutal.” He is going for the jugular here against those trash talking bullies that thrive on making others miserable and themselves the object of their own delusional grandeur. That full-on verbal attack coupled with the song’s equally driving musical content makes for a song that can easily said to be one of this album’s highest of highs. It’s not the only high presented throughout the course of the album’s twelve total tracks as noted by the previously discussed songs. All three songs set against the rest of the songs not noted here make Long Live an album that audiences will agree in the end is one of the band’s best albums to date and one of the best of this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.
It is safe to say of Atreyu’s new album Long Live that at least among the band’s fans it was one of this year’s most anticipated new records. It is the band’s first full-length record in roughly six years. That is an eternity in the music world. Considering just the trio of songs noted here , it can be said that the album has lived up to its expectations. That is not to take away from any of the remaining half-dozen tracks not noted directly here. All twelve songs taken collectively into consideration, they make Long Live a record that will live long in fans’ ears and minds. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online at http://longliveatreyu.com. More information on Long Live is available online now along with all of Atreyu’s latest news at:
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