This Blog Has Been Glanced at This Many Times:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MUSIC REVIEW - Atreyu - Congregation of the Damned

Fact: I’m not the world’s biggest Atreyu fan. Hell, I didn’t enjoy any of their stuff pre-Lead Sails and Paper Anchor and frankly I still don’t. Scream-o might appeal to the chaps in the crowd who don't fear strep throat, but I’ve never found much value in metalcore’s insistence on gargling lyrics. But like’em or hate’em, Atreyu is a band full of talented, loud, shredding and vengeful rock stars. It’s just a shame they haven’t whetted my appetite until their last, and pleasantly subdued album, Lead Sails and Paper Anchor.

So with their previous record being something of an expansive triumph, and perhaps their unsung masterpiece, (Yeah, I went there.) I won’t be able to help the comparisons between it and Congregation of the Damned. Sorry. And for the old school Atreyu fans, you might as well stop reading. You won’t find any praise for the appropriately named The Curse. Cry about it emo sluts.

Congregation of the Damned begins with a song reminiscent of their earlier material, but, surprisingly I wasn’t hemorrhaging while it played. Consistent screaming aside, it’s not a bad opener. After that, Atreyu returns to its Lead Sails sound with "Bleeding Is a Luxury," a song that carries the albums’ stronger lyrics, but owes Anberlin a thank you note for its opening. Or maybe Anberlin owes them a lawsuit? (“Feel Good Drag” anyone?)

Though Congregation doesn’t have any major hooks and sure-to-be-classics like Lead Sail’s “Doomsday” and “When Two Are One,” it offers some strong tunes that beg for some attention. “Gallows,” “Storm to Pass” and “Insatiable” make a passing effort for car ride scream-alongs. Meanwhile, “Coffin Nails” steals the baton of badassery from the would-be, should-be, wasn’t-to-be awesome title track.

The album's biggest failure is Atreyu’s struggle at affectionate songwriting. The attempt at an emotional finale, “Wait for You,” almost makes me want them to go all the way back to their metalcore roots. The last thing I want to hear before I die is another love song by Atreyu. Stick to lyrics reaming off the effects of Armageddon guys.

If you’re an Atreyu fan, new or old, give Congregation a world. It’ll be a hit or miss with most fans. If you’ve never heard a song by Atreyu before, move along. There’s nothing to see, hear or have sex with here. It’s fun enough to avoid being damned, but we can’t please everyone, can we? Lead Sails PwNz0Rz it. Sorry. Couldn’t help Atreyu-izing myself for a moment.

** out of ****

No comments: