Atreyu
The Congregation of the Damned


3.5
great

Review

by Drubbi USER (12 Reviews)
November 7th, 2013 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atreyu return to form after 'Lead Sails Paper Anchor' and produce an album that may very well peak 'A Death Grip On Yesterday'.

Atreyu are not only known for the music they have created over their fifteen year career, but the fact that not only is their clean vocalist the drummer, but also because of Alex Varkatzas; their unclean vocalist. Many people regard him as one of the most annoying screamers in the business today, describing his voice as a ‘cat trying to escape his body, but dying in his stomach bile’. Many a listener has been put off by this, and the fact that Atreyu’s last effort ‘Lead Sails Paper Anchor’ was a passable effort that reduced Alex to just clean vocals and very minor screaming appearances, and ended with a mainstream mess of a record, left many people returning to their older sound. After deciding to leave Victory, and releasing a very shady ‘Best Of’ album to finish up their contract, they burst out with ‘Congregation Of The Damned’, a return to form that will please many fans and allow others to rethink their stance on the band.

Album opener ‘Stop! Before It’s Too Late And We’ve Destroyed It All’ showcases that Atreyu have really been left to their own devices, and been allowed to run riot with the ideas they have thought up. Gone are the uninspiring sounds we heard on ‘Lead Sails…’ and in are soaring riffs, well executed drums, an audible bass line, and the well-produced vocals by both drummer Brandon and Alex. ‘Bleeding Is A Luxury’ adds a nice instrumental element to the record, and hides the impending breakdown. Although not very common in this album, or in Atreyu for that matter, breakdowns aren’t not too obvious, and not too boring for that matter.

Clean vocals by Alex, although a much hated inclusion in ‘Lead Sails…’, have made an appearance on Congregation, although they’re much improved here. They are also less common than the previous album, much to the listener’s relief. Alex has also improved his vocal ability, not just in his clean vocals, but also his unclean vocal ability. Although a much hated part of his repertoire, he’s tried to improve them here, and although for the most part it goes unnoticed, he has downgraded his much-hated moan to a recognisable scream. Brandon, whilst not the greatest singer, tries his best to create soaring and memorable choruses, which they are, but sadly Brandon has very little range in his voice, making it unable to be done to an excellent degree.

As mentioned previously, the guitars are as great as ever. Although Dan and Travis have never been the greatest and most recognisable guitarists out their, they try, and for the most part, succeed. Songs such as ‘Ravenous’ have them let loose, shredding through anything in their path with the memorable riffs and solos, brought back from their ‘The Curse’ days.

As with most bands of this genre of music, the album’s most memorable songs take up the first part of the record, whilst slower or less recognisable songs are left to wander in the back half of the album. As mentioned before, ‘Ravenous’ is a great song, and is an exception to this, but song like ‘Wait For You’ are less welcomed, and feel like they should have been left out and replaced by another heavy and much faster song.

Many people may have written them off after the release of ‘Lead Sails…’, but the switch from Victory to Hollywood Records seems to have done the trick, allowing Atreyu to revisit their previous and more popular releases, and take elements from those and blend them into their latest release. Although those who have hated the unclean vocals of Alex may continue to stray away from the band, those who were previous fans and disliked ‘Lead Sails..’ can breathe a sigh of relief, and enjoy a record that keeps them in the game.


Positives:
• A return to their old sound
• Guitars have a chance to shine, and they don’t waste it
• The heavier approach to the album helps it throughout
• Alex and Brandon have picked up their game
Negatives:
• Alex hasn’t changed his voice too much, and Brandon doesn’t strain his vocal chords enough
• The latter half of the album starts to drop off, with ***-kicker ‘Ravenous’ being the only real notable



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (496)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Spec (3.5)
The album as a whole is nothing amazing but a few of the individual songs would make a great additio...

Jurgen Prochnow (3)
After making a mockery of it's tried and true fan base, a return to old form for Atreyu doesn't mean...

Adam Thomas STAFF (2)
Despite its best intentions, Congregation of the Damned is just another Atreyu album fueled by dated...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Cormano
November 7th 2013


980 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like what they were trying to achieve with this but ultimately they failed
gallows is prob my favorite

Calc
November 7th 2013


12254 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Read that first sentence out loud to yourself. And I don't remember anything from this record maybe I should listen to it again.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2013


28695 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great album on par with deathgrip but inferior to the curse

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2013


28695 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

track 8 slays

PunchforPunch
November 7th 2013


6280 Comments


the curse is modern classic

Drubbi
November 7th 2013


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I tried rewording the first sentence, but I just got
annoyed by being unable to do so, so I just left it as it
was. Was the rest of it alright?

Digging: New Found Glory - Resurrection

J0ckstrapsFTW
November 7th 2013


3652 Comments


I'm skeptical on whether or not it's good

Lelle
November 7th 2013


2156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think you should use "harsh vocals" instead of "unclean vocals". "Unclean" sounds like you are referring to a public toilet or something haha. But otherwise good review. I thought they left Victory before Lead Sails though?

trainofconsequence
November 7th 2013


1442 Comments


Band are pretty good

Lelle
November 7th 2013


2156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

hell or highwater are pretty dull tho. I mean I think his voice is great but band just does nothing for me

Lelle
November 7th 2013


2156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

didn't say it was, did I?

trainofconsequence
November 7th 2013


1442 Comments


this is solid enough actually

Progger6009
November 7th 2013


1126 Comments


Lead sails was not all that bad, and this is kinda boring.


theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2013


28695 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hell or highwater > this album


lol fuck no



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