The Curse

Truth be told Atreyu, is the meekest of the Hot Topic ‘metalcore’ triumvirate (rounded out by Avenged Sevenfold and Bleeding Through), being easily more accessible than their peers but having just enough metal seeping into their punky, hardcore laced, catchy visage to be more respectable than Silverstein or Thrice.

Still, Atreyu and their ilk remain in the stocks of more extreme metal, being pelted with stuff and laughed at, but I’ll be honest, they aren’t all that bad. If anything they write some catchy stuff, which at its base level will sell records to those enamored with short hair, eye liner and spiky wristbands.

The Curse follows up the rather successful debut Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses,(which I never heard) and seeks to darken their image a little (and possible even attract even more Goth chicks) with a vampyric romance based concept album, and truth be told it will probably sell oodles, and hey-good for them-they found a formula the kids like and they are sticking to it. The recipe for Atreyu is simple one; take the poppy punk of Blink 182 and Good Charlotte, attract some bi-curious metal fans with some screamed hardcore vocals, and throw in some traditional dual guitar harmonies to try and lure the Avenged Sevenfold crowd (who are infinitely better BTW).

Honestly, for what it’s unashamedly is, it works, I found my self driving, windows down tapping my fingers of humming along, so it completed its mission, infectiously so, despite being essentially lighter than any other metalcore (a very loose term here) I enjoy. It’s polished, catchy and deliberately paced for out of place High school teens bored by MTV pop punk. I call it metalcore-lite.

I can’t really compare this to the debut album, but from what I’ve heard of that album, this looks to tread the same waters of MTV friendly semi metal, with a slight edge. Solid, well written songs with hooks abound and ballads for the hormone ripe girls in fishnet shirts, The Curse has some embarrassingly decent moments that make me question my ‘metalness’. Tracks like ‘This Flesh a Tomb’, ‘My Sanity on the Funeral Pyre’, ‘Demonology and Heartache’ despite their forced darker subject matter, revel in galloping verse/chorus structures and plenty of white knuckle solo work (‘Nevada’s Grace’ stands out with some fairly impressive dual leads). The albums middle section is where the story takes a turn for the more romantic, as it contains two back to back slower tracks, as ‘The Crimson’, ‘The Remembrance Ballad’ beg for radio play-and deservedly so with their emotive choruses and slightly reigned in metalcore stride.

 I’ll give Atreyu credit with their lyrical subject matter, even ifs it’s the same old love gone wrong story, its at least wrapped up in a slightly darker storyline, even though the music is still way too bouncy and peppy. Production wise, its what you would expect from a larger label’s priority band, clean and crisp-maybe overly so, but its feels done to gain a wider audience, and not come across quite as ‘hard’ as A7F or Bleeding Through.

Probably not an album that appeals to many readers of this site, but if you’re a fan of the band, this will please you along with the thousands of misunderstood teenage girls. And yes, me too.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 28th, 2005


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