Atreyu – “In Our Wake” (Spinefarm Records)
So this is what fatherhood is all about…..Having taken a hiatus a few years back to focus on their personal lives, Atreyu returned in 2015 with “Long Live”, which, along with their trademark metalcore that previously took them into the Billboard Top 10 and even garnered a gold certification from the RIAA, also manifested experimentation in the form of a rock element. Now, some 3 years later comes this 7th release, and the diversity couldn’t be greater with nu metal, hard rock and even orchestration in the form of horns and flutes being introduced. Anyone who remembers early Atreyu might be forgiven for thinking this is a different band, although the offering of ‘Nothing Will Ever Change’ might offer consolation, not withstanding its ironic title. That said, “In Our Wake” is a mighty fine album with heaps of emo and tons of melodies very typical of Atreyu and no, I don’t think the metalcore has disappeared at all, it’s just in different quantities melded with different styles across the 12 captivating and highly catchy tracks here. Driven by the prominent dual vocals of Alex Varkatzas’s aggressive screaming and Brandon Saller’s melodic singing along with plenty of harmonies from the rest of the band, the emo aspect is bolstered even further by the fluid guitars of Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, relentlessly trading off one another and unison in a blinding array of aggressive hardcore riffs, anthemic grooves, rock leads, metallic breaks and of course, absolutely tons of melodies. Roaring out with plenty of heart on the title track ‘In Our Wake’ the multiple emo vocals and Saller’s powering drums inject you with so much energy and uplift even before the aggression hits, continuing even more intensely on the emo core of ‘The Time Is Now’ with its heart grabbing harmonies. But it’s when you get into the album to the likes of ‘Safety Pin’ that you appreciate the new blended style of electronica and orchestrals has been melded beautifully into the emo core – along with a stand out pure rock solo – that will have you in bliss and utter euphoria! Continuing the high energy even with the tempo slowed is ‘Paper Castle’ with its multiple harmonies mixed with shout outs, powerful dirty riffing and pumping grooves guaranteed to rock out any stadium. It’s been said that “In Our Wake” is the album that the band want people to remember them by, and if you check out ‘Super Hero’, an anthem that blends 70s classic rock orchestrals with nothing short of addictive emo core especially in those tear jerky harmonies, and featuring M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) & Aaron Gillespie (Underoath), you’ll know just what Atreyu mean. Now that’s gotta be something you’d wanna proudly play to your kids and brings the neverending story of this amazing band full circle.