Have you heard the new Atreyu single? No… not that terrible army song they released in late 2014. The single from their upcoming album “Long Live”. It’s called “Long Live”. Is there an echo on here? No? Okay, so its a title track.
Anyway, Onto the song.
We open very Atreyu. Dirty Guitars and some fast drums. I can’t say that I am super impressed with the guitar riff. Or how sloppily it was played. After a measure or so, we get screamer Alex Varkatzas, returning to reclaim his crow and right to the throne in the Kingdom of Terrible Screamers. Seriously man, it’s been almost 20 years and you sound like a 16 year old kid that learned how to scream last week. Marc is a great screamer. We heard him roar all over the backing vocals on “A Death-Grip on Yesterday”. Let him do it. What is it with prolific bands and their terrible scream vocalists? It really isn’t that hard. He should start a band with Ben Burnley. We all know how much I revere that guy…
But let’s move past the scream vocals. His lack of talent is old news. So far it sounds like I am disappointed in this song, right?
Wrong. It was actually mostly a positive experience. Getting Atreyu back to the level that they formally sucked at, and not worse is a great thing (ahem… “Congregation of the Damned” has a lot of explaining to do).
The chorus kicks as much ass as any Atreyu song ever did. Brandon Saller hasn’t lost a step, vocally or as a drummer. He was always my favorite part of this band anyway. Double kickin’, ride bell blastin’, epic chorus singin’… that’s all I’ve got. Actually, I think I hear him screaming a little bit at the end of the chorus. Not nasally enough to be Marc, too good to be Alex. This is a fun development.
A couple verses, corresponding choruses, and we get a little break. Not quite a breakdown, but still a fun, dirty riff. They hint at a guitar solo and return to the syncopated chant. Now comes the guitar solo for real. I mean, come on… could there be an Atreyu single without a solo? Well I certainly wish there could be. Big Dan is as sloppy as ever. Weak sweep picking. Boring melodic licks. Just let Travis play it instead.
We close with another chorus and a snappy ending. Overall, it is a thousand times better than anything on “Congregation of the Damned” and seems like a suitable follow-up to “Lead Sails Paper Anchor”. Most of my complaints are the same grievances I have had with this band for years now. At least they didn’t regress. This track was a formidable way of saying “We are back to our former glory, and you’re not going to say shit about it”. No make up, No silly hair. Now sporting beards and the same bad attitude they are known for.
Listen to the song. It is worth your time. Veteran fans of the So-Cal metalcore quintet will be pleased. Those that never cared for Atreyu to begin with, you are not missing anything. No revolutionary ground has been broken here.
While you’re at it, check out the episode of my podcast “Angry Old Dudes” where we argue over which of their records was best.