ATREYU // THE BEAUTIFUL DARK OF LIFE // ALBUM REVIEW
L.A. Rockers Atreyu is back with a glorious collection of songs, 15 to be precise concluding the EP trilogy with an additional three new songs. This is perfect timing as I had the pleasure of catching Atreyu for the first time live on their first time playing Ireland North and South. It was one of the best gigs of the year, their energy on stage, presence and connection with their fans was a joy to behold, the years of experience and miles on the road have these guys like a finely tuned machine and the back catalogue infused with new tracks from their recently released EP’s culminating in The Beautiful Dark Of Life was just simply majestic.
So here we are, the album drops this weekend and Santa has that naughty list In hand, so who will be lucky enough to get that album in their stocking and who will have to deal with the shizzle that comes with being on the good list?
The album opener ‘Drowning’ is a tour de force in its own right, the brutality of the riffage before Brandon’s (Saller) clean vocals cut in and that beautifully polished, beautifully produced sound cuts through and you know everything’s going to be alright! The gorgeous melodic quality of Atryu’s songwriting is like a warm blanket on a cold winter night, no matter how heavy or brutal the riffage and breakdowns may be, there is always that glorious ability to keep it melodic and easy on the ear to keep you warbling along to the best of your ability. Saller’s vocals are killer, I love his vocal range and ability to deliver on both the clean and guttural side, he has a rich tone to his voice that is almost Emo-Pop-Punk in quality that sits so well against the backdrop of the violence of the hefty distortion and pummelling backline.
‘Insomnia’ is the perfect example of this with Saller’s soaring highs and a sublime singalong chorus that just warms the cockles and muscles of your wee heart. The beauty of this is just how well all these beauties translate to the live setting, if anyone like myself were lucky enough to catch them on their recent UK/European adventures you’ll know just what I mean. The band can deliver multiple styles within a recording such as this, playing with multiple genres and Influences dabbling with EDM vibes, Metalcore, and Industrial, all of these creating a gorgeous sonic landscape that will keep you intrigued from start to finish.
The album is just magnificent, a band so on the ball it is scary, the musicianship is breathtaking, and the songwriting a thing to behold, 25 years in the making from their inception as a band, to write an album of this quality should not be taken for granted, we are so lucky to have access to new music in droves at our fingertips every single day and it is so easy to forget the blood, sweat and tears that goes into the creative process behind it, the years of graft as musicians that get you to a level where you can produce an album such as this from the very pores on your skin, living and breathing it every day.
The Beautiful Dark Of Life is one of my favourite albums of 2023, from the opening track of ‘Drowning’ to the album’s closer and self-titled track it is simply mind-blowing. A humbling album as a fan of music and as a guy who has the daily struggle of trying to master an instrument, I tip my hat to thee lads, this one is breathtaking.
If for any reason you have yet to dip your toes into the vast ocean that is Atreyu, there is no better album than this to test the waters. You can thank me later.
‘The Beautiful Dark Of Life’ will be out 8th December via Spinefarm. It’s the culmination of the band’s recent three-part EP series and the double LP is available in multiple colours on vinyl and CD to pre-order now and the album can be pre-saved on DSPs.