Courtesy: Spinefarm Records
Veteran metalcore band Atreyu is wrapping up the current leg of its North American tour in support of its current album In Our Wake. The band’s tour is currently scheduled to wrap Dec. 13 in Anaheim, California before the band takes some time to rest and recharge for the annual Shiprocked cruise that launches Jan. 26 from Galveston, Texas. While the band’s current tour schedule is winding down, audiences can still hear the band’s new album when they order it or buy it in store. The 10-song record is a record worth hearing, too, whether one is a longtime fan of the Orange County, CA-based band or just a metalcore fan in general. That is proven in part through the album’s opener/title track. ‘The Time Is Now,’ which also comes relatively early in the album’s run, also supports that statement, both musically and lyrically. ‘Safety Pin,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is yet another of the works featured in this album that exhibits the album’s strengths, and is certainly not the last of the songs featured throughout the 45-minute record that makes the album so appealing. Any of the other works included in the album can just as easily be cited in showing the album’s strengths. Between those songs and the works more directly noted here, the album in whole proves to be another positive offering from Atreyu that will appeal just as much to the band’s fans as it will metalcore fans.
Atreyu’s latest full-length studio recording In Our Wake is another strong new offering from the veteran metalcore outfit that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most devoted fans as it will metalcore fans in general. As the album’s title notes, its songs are works that look back on life in all of its positives and negatives, examining those outcomes. Those ruminations make for a record to which plenty of audiences will be able to relate. The album’s opener/title track is just one of the songs that serves to support those statements. That is proven in part through the song’s musical arrangement, which is a radio-ready metalcore arrangement that instantly lends itself to comparisons with other similar acts, such as Ice Nine Kills, Set It Off and Bullet For My Valentine, just to name a few. The more upbeat, melodic metalcore style here is driven by the time keeping of drummer Brandon Saller, who keeps the song moving forward solidly throughout the three-minute-plus opus. The dual guitar approach of Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel strengthens the foundation formed by Saller while front man Alex Varkatzas and bassist Porter McKnight put the finishing touch to the work. The arrangement’s brooding sound is a good compliment to the song’s lyrical content, which finds Varkatzas asking outright, “Who will we leave in our wake?” That opening line leads to an even deeper introspective presentation that is certain to generate plenty of discussion among listeners.
Varkatzas asks in the song’s lead verse, “Could I be more than flesh/Can I leave more than bones/Will these words have an impact/Can they be carved into stone/Force yourself to remember/Or choose to forget/You can leave this world as a lion/Or just fall asleep in it.” This is someone asking, ‘what will I leave behind when I am gone?’ before going on to remind listeners that they can do one of two things – make the most of life or let it pass them by. This is emphasized in the song’s second verse, in which Varkatzas sings, “We break like the ocean/We rise like the tide/We drown in emotion but reach for the sky/We’re moving the mountains/We’re making a change/Drink youth from the fountain before it’s too late.” Again, this is the song’s subject reminding listeners that if they want to leave a positive, lasting legacy, then they need to make the most of life. That way, those who we leave in our wake will have been impacted positively by us during our lives and theirs. It is actually a very deep and positive lyrical concept. When it is coupled with the song’s noted introspective musical arrangement, the whole proves to be a strong start for In Our Wake and just one of the album’s works that proves the album’s appeal. Just as positive an addition to the record’s whole is ‘The Time Is Now.’
‘The Time Is Now’ is one of the best, if not the best addition to In Our Wake. That is due in part to the song’s arrangement, which expertly balances the talents of each band member for a work that is certain to become a fan favorite both on record and in person. Saller’s pulsing drum line immediately conjures thoughts of an audience pumping its fists collectively in the air as it sings along to Varkatzas’ singing while Jacobs and Miguel’s infectious guitar line couples with McKnight’s bass line. The whole of the band’s lines creates a nearly three-and-a-half minute opus that moves fluidly from start to finish. It is so enjoyable that it feels like it ends before it should. That is meant in the best way possible. Simply put, it leaves listeners wanting more in the best way possible. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s uplifting lyrical content couples with the musical arrangement to make it even more appealing for audiences
The lyrical theme at the center of ‘The Time Is Now’ is another statement that centers on someone celebrating life. This is inferred as Varkatzas sings in the song’s lead verse, “Here at the starting line/Never-ending race/What I’ve got inside is commonplace/I’ve been dreaming ‘bout/Hope for better days/Time for dreaming’s done/Time to face the sun.” Right off the bat here, Varkatzas is singing (seemingly) about someone who wants to make the most of life, singing, “Time for dreaming’s done/Time to face the sun.” This inference is strengthened even more as he goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Flying high above the world/It’s a new life/It’s a new mind/And I will never fall.” This is a statement of optimism, flat-out. He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I cannot stop/See another way/Am I looking for another cheap escape/I’ve been pushing forward/Crushing everything/It’s a push and pull/It’s a give and take.” From there, he goes on to reprise the chorus, yet again emphasizing that positive outlook on life. It’s a view that continues on through the second half of the song, right to its finale. That positive lyrical theme, coupled with the song’s infectious musical arrangement is certain to put a bright smile on any listener’s face while proving once again its strength, and even more, the strength of In Our Wake. Even with that strength noted, it still is not the last of the album’s most notable additions. ‘Safety Pin’ is yet another important addition to In Our Wake. It shows the other side of the noted ruminations on the impact that we and others have on one another, and does so in quite the fiery fashion.
Unlike ‘The Time Is Now’ and ‘In Our Wake,’ ‘Safety Pin’ is a fiery work that addresses the negative impact that another has had on someone else. As with the album’s other works, this song’s arrangement is more of a melodic metalcore style work than standard screamo-style work in regards to its musical arrangement. It is an upbeat work, yet maintains a certain middle ground that helps to illustrate the song’s lyrical content. That content seems to focus on some wrong that has been done to the song’s subject. That alleged wrongdoing has not beaten the song’s subject, though. This is proven as Varkatzas sings, “I can feel you in the back of my skull/On my best days/Worst ways/I don’t wanna talk about it/I can see you waiting for me to fall/Casting black rays, wasting/I don’t wanna talk about it/I won’t let you in/No, I won’t let you in/I will rise to walk again/I won’t keep on listening/The sorrow, I won’t let it in/My life held by a safety pin.” This comes across as the song’s subject saying life is fragile and he/she is not going to let another’s wrongdoing take advantage of that fragility, but rather will push on. This is inferred even more as Varkatzas sings in the song’s second verse, “try to cut me from a walk to a crawl/I will get up, stand up/And now I wanna talk about it/Try to break me/I can still take a shot/I will wake up, stay up/Now I wanna talk about it/Let’s f***ing talk about it.” That defiant declaration leads to a reprise of the song’s chorus, which again strengthens that sense of defiant optimism against life’s negativity. It is another way in which the album addresses the question of who we will leave in our wake and how they will be left, just in a different fashion from the other noted songs. When it is considered along with those other songs – both those noted here and those not directly noted – the whole of the album becomes a record that sends an important message, and hopefully leaves listeners contemplating a lot of things in their own lives. To that end, this record is both musically and lyrically a solid new offering from Atreyu that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most devoted fan base as it will to metalcore fans in general.
Atreyu’s latest full-length studio recording In Our Wake is a strong new offering that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most devoted audiences as to metalcore fans in general. As has been noted above, that is due in part to the album’s overall theme of considering the impacts of our and others’ actions on one another throughout life. Thus the title, In Our Wake. It presents that theme in plenty of varying ways from start to finish as has been pointed out in the discussions presented here. When those discussions are coupled with those that will be generated from examining the album’s other songs, the end result is a record that listeners will agree, is a welcome return from Atreyu. It is available now. More information on In Our Wake is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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