Atreyu – Lead Sails Paper Anchor
Hollywood Records (8/28/07)
Rock / Metalcore / Post-Hardcore
This is the album that Atreyu needed as a follow-up to The Curse. While 2006’s A Death-Grip on Yesterday wasn’t a terrible release, the band seemed like it was still searching for an identity. On Lead Sails, it sounds quite comfortable and very explosive.
Atreyu do a great job of updating an ’80s hard-rock groove with a modern metal sensibility, while sprinkling in the slightest amount of hardcore growls (a nod to the genre that got them to the dance, so to speak). The band is turning into a less aggressive Trivium. And while last year’s release was light on the hooks, this album is chock-full of them.
Exploding out of the gate with “Doomsday”, the band unleashes a barrage of thick riffs and assaulting rhythm that continues throughout the album. Recalling a bygone era, songs like “Honor”, “Becoming the Bull” and “Slow Burn” would sound perfect pouring out of the PA at a huge stadium. Add to that the progression of the band’s sound, most notably the killer guitar solos that litter the album, most notably on “Falling Down”, “Can’t Happen Here” and “When Two Are One”. And if the band wasn’t wearing its influences on its sleeves enough for you, throw in a sick cover of Faith No More’s “Epic” (which closes out the album as a hidden track) for good measure.
And that’s not even the best Atreyu has to offer. Check out “Blow”, with Josh Todd (of Buckcherry) on guest vocals. Apart from Velvet Revolver on rare occasions, or perhaps Buckcherry, no band has better captured that gritty L.A.-scene, sleazy rock sound reminiscent of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction.
Even when the band manages to slow things down a few timesâ€”on the title-track or on “Lose It”â€”there’s still an air of urgency to the sound.
What a great release. The shift to Hollywood Records from Victory did little to slow down or shift the band’s progression. It instead focused the group into creating probably the best album of its short career. It’s fun, it’s unbelievably catchy and it’s raw and turgid with everything there is to love about the rock and metal genres. A fantastic album for fans of metal or rock. A top-five release of the year, easily.