The band waste no time in going full throttle.
Label: Search and Destroy / Spinefarm
Released: 18th September 2015
Hiatuses, huh? They suck. The one upside of every band and their dog going on a break these days, it seems, is that they inevitably come back rejuvenated in some way, looking to bring new creativity to their work. Hello, Atreyu.
In their first album post-hiatus, the band feel they had unrestricted freedom and revelled in the prospect. From the opening moments, the band waste no time in going full throttle, reassuring fans that they’ve not lost themselves in the process of taking a step back – but then they also throw out the rulebook, with unabashed rock ballads like ‘Do You Know Who You Are’.
‘Heartbeats and Flatlines’ is slick and pounding, where ‘Moments Before Dawn’ begins eerily and lurches into more sombre tones. ‘Brass Balls’ channels a classic rock swagger with spat vocals that don’t quite match up at times, but is fit to burst with moments tailored for a live crowd. There are sparks of how they’ve pushed for something fresh upon their return, but much of ‘Long Live’ can feel repetitive, holding onto a good thing when they find it.
In channelling the creativity back into Atreyu after years elsewhere, they’ve managed to produce an album brimming with crowd-pleasing moments crafted for the live setting; they’ve also used numerous stock sound effects from whispers to static, and while the hat tips to their creative pushes are there, it doesn’t necessarily elevate it all that much. In remembering and recapturing much of where they came from, they’ve put rest to any worries that hiatuses often cause, that a band can lose themselves. They haven’t. They’re back. It’s solid. Heather McDaid