Atreyu
The Congregation of the Damned


2.0
poor

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
October 26th, 2009 | 445 replies | 33,402 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite its best intentions, Congregation of the Damned is just another Atreyu album fueled by dated ideas and repetitive songwriting.

Atreyu's popularity has always been more a matter of timing than due to things like skill and quality. Born from the same pool of pissed off suburban teenagers that spawned Bleeding Through, Avenged Sevenfold, and Eighteen Visions, the Orange County quintet's seemingly unwarranted rise to popularity was driven by the accessibility of their watered down take on Metalcore. For many kids, the albums Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses and The Curse were stepping stones into heavy music, only to be almost entirely discarded except for the occasional, nostalgic spin of “Lip Gloss and Black” in favor of thousands of better bands. To expand on the mainstream acceptance that had come via their place as a gateway act, Atreyu's fourth album, 2007's Lead Sails Paper Anchor, saw the band try their hand at full on radio-centric Arena Rock (which, for the most part, worked). Despite the loss of some old fans still clinging to their memories of 2002, Lead Sails Paper Anchor changed Atreyu from a band that was embraced by enough fourteen year-olds dressed in black to have a high charting release to a band seeing mainstream success.

It's clear that Congregation of the Damned, Atreyu's fifth full-length release, is an attempt to please both new and old fans, and in the process be the album that sums up exactly what Atreyu are all about. To an extent, it does just that. For those that find some level of enjoyment from Atreyu, there is bound to be something on Congregation of the Damned that will tickle your fancy. And as Atreyu's attempt to define their career in a nutshell, Congregation of the Damned displays just about about everything that they are about, be it mediocre Metalcore or mediocre cock rock.

The heavier numbers on the album reinforce Atreyu's penchant for unoriginal ideas. The opener, "Stop! Before It's Too Late and We've Destroyed It All", is a blatant rip off of In Flames (something Atreyu have done in the past: see “Right Side of the Bed” versus “The Hive”) from the plodding chords in the verse to the hypermelodic chorus and Alex's vocals that are reminiscent of Anders Friden at his worst. With “Bleeding is a Luxury”, Atreyu take their Metalcore side and add an unnecessary dose of cheese to it, adding banal keyboard harmonies to an already tiring mix of chug and alternate picking. As if that wasn't enough, the track is also home to one of the numerous open string breakdowns that litter Congregation of the Damned in a half-assed attempt to show that Atreyu haven't lost their balls--this begs the question, how do you lose what you never had in the first place?

The songs that root themselves in the mainstream fare no better than their heavier brethren; everything about the arena rock Atreyu is overbearingly repetitive. Tracks like “Insatiable”, “Black Days Begin”, and “You Were The King; Now You're Unconscious” are all centered around soaring choruses that drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller just can't sell. His vocals sound just as forced as ever and his lack of range shows through even more given his added presence. It is one of the few times that one wishes Alex Varkatzas would chime in with his croaky throat screams just to add an extra dimension in the vocal department. Ironically, for a band trying to show off that they can still be heavy, one of Congregation of the Damned's few positive moments comes from the ridiculously poppy “Lonely”. Feeling more akin to the lightest moments on Lead Sails..., it is perfectly fit for mass consumption. By toning down their guitars to only power chords and simple leads, Atreyu have penned a fist-pumpingly good rock anthem that could easily climb its way up the charts.

Despite its best intentions, Congregation of the Damned is just another Atreyu album fueled by dated ideas and repetitive songwriting. The end result is a mediocre showing regardless of what side of Atreyu is on display.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
YouAreMySilence
October 26th 2009



3727 Comments


Only ever enjoyed the song The Crimson by them.
Good review.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2009



7983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I see that it is streaming now


Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2009



17204 Comments


not that I know of. All i know is that most of the world gets this released on Monday and it is Monday. if the mods don't like that they can just can it and i'll put it back up in 20 hours.

Mordecai.
October 26th 2009



8276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, i'll still get this and mildly enjoy it though. Death Grip was their peak fin my opinion.

Ulsufyring
October 26th 2009



1724 Comments


the bonergregation
of bonergregating

EasternLight
October 26th 2009



2700 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ok songs here and there, but i agree with you.
ARTICUNO I SAW THAT POOP

Ulsufyring
October 26th 2009



1724 Comments


the poopgregation
of poop

Zip
October 26th 2009



5312 Comments


Atreyu more like Agayu

Zip
October 26th 2009



5312 Comments


Bongregation of the Slammed

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2009



17204 Comments


god dammit zip. don't belittle marijuana

Zip
October 26th 2009



5312 Comments


srry

Ulsufyring
October 26th 2009



1724 Comments


why do people like this band

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2009



7983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

why do people like you?

Ulsufyring
October 26th 2009



1724 Comments


mostly because i'm awesome, but partially because i'm awesome

EasternLight
October 26th 2009



2700 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its just cuz u like articuno.

Zip
October 26th 2009



5312 Comments


or maybe it's cuz they mistake you for Mutatedfreak cuz he has the exact same avatar, who knows.

Ulsufyring
October 26th 2009



1724 Comments


he has articuno? he can't be articuno, the classiest motherfuckuh of pokemon

that's me

Mordecai.
October 26th 2009



8276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

um i'm pretty sure Jinx is the classiest pokemon

Zip
October 26th 2009



5312 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news.php?newsid=11258
c look, he's got Articuno too

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2009



7983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this Pokemon shit needs to stop



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