In Our Wake

Written by: PP on 22/09/2019 23:15:59

I for one did not see this coming. In my books, Atreyu was now in the category of washed-up metalcore/post-hardcore bands, desperately trying to latch onto any edge to stop their free-fall into irrelevancy by transitioning into an arena rock band. Albums like "Long Live" and "Lead Sails Paper Anchor" were derivative and cliché, if not outright pointless releases in the grand scheme of things. Not so with "In Our Wake", a bombastic hard rock album that sees Atreyu revisit some of their heavier origins and bring these to the forefront within a grandiose, theatrical arena rock format in a way I did not think was possible.

Screams, metallic riffs, and an aggressive, in-your-face vocal delivery are all triumphantly mixed into a mammoth soundscape that sees songs like "House Of Gold" and "In Our Wake" showcase massive production value but simultaneously manage plenty of depth and instantly memorable choruses within the same format. Hints of Papa Roach and others are omnipresent, but Atreyu delivers the same expression just so much better throughout "In Our Wake".

Yes, the songs are dramatic and expansive, which usually indicates an artificially inflated soundscape for no other reason than to better fit arena environments, but here the added detail of heey-eey choruses, symphonics, and the convincing vocal delivery of Alex Varkatzas fully justify the means. And as a contrast, "Nothing Will Ever Change" brings Five Finger Death Punch style metallic aggression onto the table, without forgetting a massive clean vocal chorus that wraps the song home. Didn't think the metalcore growls from their debut album wouldn't ever return? Think again. Likewise, "Blind Deaf & Dumb" is jam-packed with screams, growls, and aggression in a way that suggests Atreyu has been listening to what made While She Sleeps so successful on the last couple of records. An absolutely huge chorus follows, and by now, we're five tracks in and every single one of them is rock solid.

Of course, the album isn't without overreach. "Terrified" is an enormous ballad, but it's a little overkill on the theatrical strings and the pop cheese. But for every pop ballad, the album draws revenge almost immediately after with hard-hitting riffs and scratchy vocals. A good example is "Into The Open", which impresses through its dynamic riffs and aggression-laden verse vocals.

As a whole, "In Our Wake" is a superb entry in the world of hard rock. Most albums like this are super-cheesy and lack the required depth to allow for longevity beyond the first week or two. Here, Atreyu takes care to inject enough rough edges, aggressive vocals, and heavy riffs to ensure a perfect blend of theatrics and actual music. It's as surprising as it is enjoyable.


Download: In Our Wake, House Of Gold, The Time Is Now, Into The Open
For the fans of: Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet For My Valentine
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.10.2018

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