WORDS: Neale McGeever
After a six-year absence, what can we expect from Orange County rockers ATREYU? They set the bar for the metalcore revival in the mid-00s with tracks like Right Side Of The Bed and Ex’s And Oh’s becoming a staple on all metal kids’ MySpace pages as their profile music AND screen names. The music industry has changed since 2009, including the metal scene – so what can the five-piece bring to to the table in 2015?
Long Live is basically the metalcore lads showing us who’s boss. Starting with the heart-pounding title track with all the elements of a classic ATREYU track: screams by Alex Varkatzas, shredding guitars by Dan Jacobs and clean vocals by drummer Brandon Saller. It’s as if they never went away. Live To Labor is disappointingly NOT about Jeremy Corbyn, but an absolute stonker exploring ATREYU‘s classic rock influence such as MOTLEY CRUE and BON JOVI. Tracks such as I Would Kill/ Die/ Lie (For You) and A Bitter Broken Memory are songs I would have blasted from my iPod on the bus to college back in the day with the intention of coming across as br00tal (sic) yet sensitive.
The metalcore veterans really haven’t got ‘rusty’ in their 6-year absence. It’s just as great, if not better, than their previous output, without haven’t to change their style -unlike their contemporaries (I’m looking at you Sykes). A strong QUEEN vibe on Do You Know Who You Are including hand-claps and minimal guitar work a la We Will Rock You. Even so there’s elements of Sabotage by THE BEASTIE BOYS. A highlight of the album, among many other anthems. What’s that I hear? a double-pedal used properly. Been a while since we’ve heard that in full effect. Confirming this is pure metalcore. No frills, unadulterated metalcore. This isn’t a lacklustre comeback we would of expected from any other band who have took a break as long as ATREYU, this is the sixth album we have all been waiting for.
It is a pleasure to say there’s not a bad track on this album, nor is there really anything to criticise. If you aren’t in to 00’s style metalcore, this might not be your cup of tea. Otherwise this is possibly ATREYU‘s most fulfilling album yet. If you like metal, metalcore or even punk-rock give this album a listen – you never know, you might love it.
Long To Live is out now via Spinefarm Records.