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Atreyu - Lead Sails Paper Anchor 2.0 (Cover Artwork)

Atreyu

Atreyu: Lead Sails Paper Anchor 2.0Lead Sails Paper Anchor 2.0 (2008)
Buena Vista Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

What I love about Punknews.org (sometimes) is how it occasionally very graphically highlights when a band 'loses it.' Atreyu's first two albums, the acclaimed Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (an album I still enjoy today) and its successor, The Curse (which I regard as inferior but solid), saw tw.
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What I love about Punknews.org (sometimes) is how it occasionally very graphically highlights when a band 'loses it.' Atreyu's first two albums, the acclaimed Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (an album I still enjoy today) and its successor, The Curse (which I regard as inferior but solid), saw two reviews on this very site each and the message board rammed with, as always, mixed messages.

Yet, Atreyu's fourth offering, despite having been out for over 12 months, has completely failed to recieve even the slightest discussion, yet alone a review until now. The reason Atreyu have 'disappeared' started with the release of The Curse, which was an undeniable shift towards a more popular, friendly sound. This change was then put into overdrive in 2006 on A Death Grip on Yesterday, an album which I personally view as one of the most dissapointing and generally awful releases of recent years, and which managed only to bastardize an array of genres and fall completely flat on its face. But onto Lead Paper Sails Anchor...

One of the worst parts of Deathgrip was the complete failure of Alex Varkatzas' metalcore vocals to transfer over to the new 'stadium hard rock' feel of Atreyu's sound. The solution in this album is to eradicate Alex's screams down to a bare minimum, and instead the vast majority of songs are led by Brandon Saller from behind the drums, whose voice is actually excellent throughout. Varkatzas is almost demoted to backing vocals for the most part, alongsde the occasional use of straightforward orthodox singing, a new experience for the frontman. On Atreyu's website, he claims regarding the change: "I don't have god given talent...I'll just try fucking hard and suck at something for a while until I finally get it right." Unfortunately, however, his 'singing' is very weak. Personally, I see almost no point whatsoever in having a frontman with considerable talent and experience of metalcore vocals remain in a band where he must attempt to either support or match the complex soprano harmonies of its drummer. Indeed, only last week, Atreyu played two festival shows without him due to inflamed vocal chords. Solution? The bassist just filled in! I think no clearer signal is needed that Varkatzas' position in the band is nigh on obsolete based on this album.

The album itself, however, is half-decent. The guitar work is often heavy and riff-laden (often to mind-numblingly simple blast-beats such as in "Honor and Blow") but its occasional attempts at 'edgy dynamism' come across primarily as confused and erratic. There is no real innovation or excitement; there is no "Lip Gloss and Black" moment where the guitars are huge and soaring, and instead the attempted huge breakdown solos, such as in the bridge of "Falling Down," are better described as effect-laden 'twiddling.' The album also sees the use of synths, pianos and a manner of other bizarre sounds to end the monotony of the choruses prevalent in the Saller and guitar-led tracks. These tracks ("Lose It," "Can't Happen Here," "Slow Burn") aren't terrible, but offer little excitement and do not stand up to the listenability or quality of the first half of the album. The title track itself brings all these new, experimental sounds to a concise head. The track itself is actually very, very good, but it sounds absolutely nothing like Atreyu; it's smooth, calm and melodic throughout and is held together by a beautiful harmony alongside multiple layers of vocals. What else is going on outside of the vocals is hard to determine but (bizarrely) I'm pretty sure I can hear a pedal steel guitar in there

However, the real redeeming factor and saving grace is that Atreyu still know how to write catchy, upbeat and sing-along Saller-delivered choruses, usually with well-screamed backing vocals and nearly every single track on the album benefits from this treatment. There are five standout chrouses on this album ("Doomsday," "Honor," "Falling Down," "When Two Are One" and "Lose It"), which frankly would not be out of place on The Curse and are probably actually marginally better overall. But the verses blend together into an ugly and confused mediocrity, as the guitars plod away and the stark and heavy vocals are pushed deep into the backing track, almost as if they are being deliberatly hidden. The result is spending the majority of the time impatiently waiting for the chrous hook -- nothing else exists to sustain any interest.

The deluxe editon here contains a brand new song, "The Squeeze," which is not on the album for some reason and two special cover songs: "Epic" by Faith No More and "Clean Sheets" by Descendents. These are actually okay. There is also a load of interviews, backstage and 'on-the-road' footage and three live track videos -- good for the die-hard fan but unlikely to entertain anyone else more than once.

This is a perfectly listenable album; indeed, its good moments reveal the considerable talent that the band have, but it is often weak, primarily due to the continuation of the band's confusion and inability to rediscover the dynamic and cutting sound of their earlier career. It is very rarely unlistenable (with the exception of the awful "Becoming the Bull") but despite this and its strong choruses, overall, at best this might just make it as your guilty pleausure of the month.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
fallenangel (August 27, 2009)

i think the cover looks awesome too and i like their music

dbug (February 23, 2009)

I try not to criticize band's new music, "Death Grip" still rocked enough but man...what ever happened to "The Curse" that I fell in love with?

koi (August 15, 2008)

This album is living proof that these dudes are only still together for the cash. But what can i say, the cost of mascara is increasing. Maybe they put together this album during there time of the month. Atreyu were you on your periods?

505Misfit (June 13, 2008)

What kinda Sh!!t is dat!!!! Fuck the EmO movement

damnitsderek (June 11, 2008)

I think thats where they actually got the name from

My point is that the movie slash character from which the band's name was derived will always be much better than said band.

RondoMondo (June 10, 2008)

The thing with this band is that they would've actually been more popular if they would've retained their older sound from Suicide and The Curse, but instead went down the path to failure by pulling an Avenged Sevenfold.

chrisafi (June 10, 2008)

I think thats where they actually got the name from

damnitsderek (June 10, 2008)

The Never Ending Story's Atreyu kicks the fucking dick off of this band.

Dudley_Shale (June 10, 2008)

Money, Mascara, Broads.

upthewolves (June 9, 2008)

why is this band still a band ? wait the better question is why was this band even started

johnnydanger (June 8, 2008)

I think the real question is why has Shai Hulud only put out one album in the time this band has put out 17

Dudley_Shale (June 8, 2008)

The reason why this band disappeared off this site is because of a general lack of positive interest. I've yet to see something redeeming in their entire catalog, and I've always felt that even in their bloated genre they've been very mediocre. Score is for the review.

tmfxjohn (June 8, 2008)

i thought deathgrip was really good. just my opinion though.

i really like this album, not too keen on the re-release though

RyanGP (June 7, 2008)

This band has been on a downward spiral into A7X douchebaggery as soon as they released "Deathgrip"

kraze (June 7, 2008)

I just heard "becoming the bull" for the first time and this shit is fucking hilarious! Papa Roach with a "i just learned Raining Blood on guitar dude" verse!

holy_balls (June 7, 2008)

I agree with the person who said they sound like Papa Roach. I always thought the singer sounded like the douchegaggle from Papa Roach. The screamer just sounds like a frog. I ain't need this

fallingupwards84 (June 6, 2008)

so Atreyu ripped off AFI's Black Sails cover

tenwestchaser (June 6, 2008)

"The cover is pretty cool"

Actually.....yeah. Certainly better than the original. They've always had awful artwork minus the first album and the digipack of The Curse (with the switchblades, which was fucking awesome).

This band is certainly a guilty pleasure. I do not like this shit at ALL, though. I also think that the Curse was far better than Suicide Notes. It may have been more catchy but goddamn is a good listen if you take your music snob cap off.

scorpiondeathlock (June 6, 2008)

this band just sounds like papa roach to me now.

GlamBalam (June 6, 2008)

average record, some songs are pretty good.

d_bag (June 6, 2008)

...i refuse to believe that this album employs legitimate blast beats.

this band stinks. the songs i've heard from this album are absolutely atrocious major label garbage, and i'm sorry i ever gave them a chance with their first LP.

Nick_V (June 6, 2008)

If you'd like to hear the "Clean Sheets" cover, I posted a link below - it wasn't as awful as I thought it would be.

Score is for Atreyu fans who think this version is better than the Descendents version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqdzOoqUq7A

chrisafi (June 6, 2008)

Hmm, how did my review of such an average album get so long. Probably the bitching at the start actually. Apologies

red_eye_inc (June 6, 2008)

The cover is pretty cool

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