Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses



by Jak2star USER (3 Reviews)
September 6th, 2013 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All in all, Suicide Notes and Butterfly kisses is a solid album that will easily impress fans of the genre, balancing sinister riffs and hard hitting vocals with awesome cleans, breakdowns, and drums.

Atreyu smashed their way out of Orange County, California with their 2002 debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses. The album was often regarded as metalcore classic, but the important queston is "does this album still hold up well ten years later"". Here's the track by track lowdown:

1. A Song For The Optimists

A Song For The Optimists opens with about 5 seconds of static before slamming right into things. Alex (vocals) immediately rips his famous "throat cancer" scream while the guitars and drums set the song up. We then slam into a really awesome riff complete with awesome vocals and drums. The song keeps a high intensity feel before coming to halt and then building its way back up with Brandon (drums, vocals) showing off his singing ability. Alex then comes back in and the song returns to it's high intensity. The song concludes with the line "Desolation, Desire, Exhale, Pass Away", and it proves to be a fitting conclusion to one of this album's best tracks. (5 out of 5)

2. Dilated

Dilated is a very punk rock like song. Fans of older hardcore and other Orange County bands will like this one. It really just slams into you. The song bursts open before entering a really sick main riff and builds up to a really awesome chorus (Brandon shows some more awesome vocals here). After repeating the verse again, the song comes to halt, and like A Song For The Optimists, builds itself back up slowly. The song ends on what I guess can be called a mini-guitar solo. Dan (guitars) shreds, but its not for very long. It's a shame cause I would've loved to have heard this solo go out longer, as Dan doesn't have very many solos on this album. Overall though, a great track. (5 out of 5)

3. Ain't Love Grand

Ain't Love Grand is the album's first single. It starts with a really sick drum fill before exploding into a section that becomes the song's chorus. The verses are solid, and the pre-chorus breakdown slams right into you. Alex and Brandon do a really good job at contrasting another in this song. A good example is the song's ending breakdown where Alex screams the chorus lyrics, originally sung by Brandon. It just has a totally different feel here. This song is definitely worth a listen. (5 out of 5)

4. Living Each Day Like You're Already Dead

This was a song that appeared on the band's Fractures EP from 2001. The song has some cool moments and a really awesome chorus, but I feel that this is the album's weakest song. The song has this really strange middle section that can get boring for some people. However, the song ends on a positive note (and the best part of the song) with a really cool ending breakdown that (once again) slams into you. (3 out of 5)

5. Deanne the Arsonist

Deanne the Arsonist is one of the heaviest songs on the album, which might shock some people considering it starts out with nothing but a simple hi hat fill. It's also worth noting that Brandon only has 3 lines of clean vocals, and Alex rips through pretty much the whole song with a ton of energy. The song has a lot of really fast and heavy sections, and one of the album's few guitar solos. On one side, it sounds like Dan is just tapping away like crazy, but on the other, it sounds really different, and strange. It's not something you'd hear from most guitar players, especially in metal where most people just try and shred as fast as possible and don't actually try structure things. I think this one of the album's highlights (5 out of 5)

6. Someone's Standing On My Chest

This was a song that appeared on the band's Fractures EP in 2001. This another heavy song off the album (probably is the heaviest). I've used the word "slam" a lot in this review, so forgive me when I say that this song just SLAMS. When it's not high intensity hardcore at it's finest, it's just flat out bone crushing. The song has one of the sickest mosh riff breakdowns I've ever heard (after the second fast riff) and after building itself up, a really sick ending that's a lot like the riff in A Song For The Optimists. Brandon does a really solid job whenever he sings in this song, and he, along with Dan, Travis (guitars), and Chris (ex-bass) make for an extremely tight instrumental blend. This blend, a long with Alex's extremely hard vocals make for an awesome song.(5 out of 5)

7. At Least I Know I'm a Sinner

Like Ain't Love Grand, At Least I Know I'm a Sinner proves to be an extremely precise blend of hard hitting metal with a very rocky feel. When it's not brutal, it just rocks, plain and simple. Alex and Brandon both do a good job of balancing their vocal styles together in this song. A catchy chorus and cool guitar-work make a really tight song. Another strong track off this album. (5 out of 5)

8. Tulips are Better

This was a song that appeared on the band's Fractures EP in 2001. If you've heard the version from Fractures, you'll notice that they changed the feel of this song entirely. This song was originally an extremely fast, intense, brutal song, but this version is a lot more laid back and simple. It feels a lot darker, and honestly, I think it works better this way. It starts out with a really weird part that might make you think that their is something wrong with the sound, but then the song kicks in and slams yet again. The opening guitar riff is really interesting, and the vocals, both Brandon and Alex, are both incredible. While it may be somewhat of a departure for this album, I think most people will still like it. (5 out of 5)

9. A Vampire's Lament

This song pretty much just serves as a bridge between Tulips are Better and Lip Gloss and Black, but it does a good enough job that it's still worth a listen. It's fairly simple, and pretty much centers around a heavy feel and then another build up where Brandon does a nice job of singing. It's not a bad track, and is definitely better than Living Each Day... but is still one the albums weaker tracks. (4 out of 5)

10. Lip Gloss and Black

The final song off the album and the second single. This song is pretty much indisputably the best song off the album, and one of the best songs Atreyu has ever produced. Do I agree with that...yes. This song pretty much somes up the entire record into 5 minutes. It's heavy, it slams, it's fast, it's brutal, it's everything this album is made of. It's also well known for the famous Atreyu quote "Live, Love, Burn, Die", reminiscent of the ending lyrics from A Song For The Optimists. The song (and album) end on a nice relaxing closer, complete with a piano section and a nice solo from Travis. A solid ending to a great song and album. (5 out of 5)



The production is decent on this album. It's nothing really special or even worth noting, but I'm including so people don't hold this against Atreyu. The album was recorded on a low-budget and was done in about 10 days, so I suppose it's understandable.


All in all, Suicide Notes and Butterfly kisses is a solid album that will easily impress fans of the genre, balancing sinister riffs and hard hitting vocals with awesome cleans, breakdowns, and drums. Definitely worthy of the 4.5 out of 5 rating. I'd highly suggest finding a copy (if you can get your hands on the limited edition it's even better. A lot of rare content on there as well)

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 6th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

-I take it most of the album is "sick" and "awesome" but I have no idea why you think these things. Try to justify yourself; what makes a particular riff so noteworthy?

-You want to be careful with using "slam" so often, especially because there's this thing called "slam death metal" which Atreyu is certainly not.

-This bothered me: "...especially in metal where most people just try and shred as fast as possible and don't actually try structure things"

Besides the missing "to", it's an extremely generalizing and somewhat ignorant statement that tells me you don't listen to much metal.

-Ditch the track-by-track format and just discuss the album as a whole, choosing a couple of songs that exemplify its sound.

September 6th 2013


I generally thought (cos the title cuts off the front page) it was called 'Suicide Notes and Butthurt'.

September 6th 2013


Band has always been one of the worst.

September 6th 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

"Balancing sinister riffs and hard hitting vocals"

This description and this album should never be used at the same time

September 6th 2013


this is sinister ey? not how I recalled it.

September 6th 2013


scenecore classic

Digging: NoMeansNo - Wrong

September 6th 2013


BFMV cover band.

September 6th 2013


remember digging track 3 & 10 back in 2002-2003, but never really liked this band that much.

September 6th 2013


Album Rating: 2.0

God damn it.

Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2013


this is probably the gayest, most pussyfied album title ever conceived.

September 8th 2013


Almost all of the tracks were rated 5/5........

September 8th 2013


September 6th 2013

"Great review for an awesome album"

September 8th 2013

"Fucking shit album"

Trademark Skele

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