Atreyu - The Curse (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Curse (2004)


Ok, I admit it, I liked Atreyu's last album. Although it didn't really offer anything new, it was pretty good for what it was, and some of the songs were catchy. Since the release of "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses," Atreyu has gotten themselves a decent sized fanbase, and there was a decent amount of hype coming out of the Victory camp regarding this one. Before I get into the actual music, I'd like to address one other thing: man, that cover art is fucking terrible. You'd think they could've put a little more into it, but I guess not. This has nothing to do with the music, but I'm just saying what everyone probably thought when they saw this album for the first time.

After a useless intro that sounded a little too much like intro from Avenged Sevenfold's "Waking The Fallen," Atreyu bursts into the album's first real track. I was actually stunned, with some speedy riffing and blazing drums, "Bleeding Mascara" really grabs the listener by the throat. Unfortunately, the chokehold turns into a soft hug with lots of sobbing when the singing starts. The title is appropriate, because this album really does suffer from a curse. Whenever the band has built up any momentum and pulled the listener in, the singing simply saps the song of its energy. The production has also cleaned up the singing quite a bit, and it feels sterile instead of genuinely emotive or heartfelt. "Bleeding Mascara," despite the name, is the album's only true standout track. There a couple of decent songs sprinkled around, but for the most part, none of the tracks are very memorable. It's not just the singing either, the songs just aren't very interesting. They seem very formulaic, and extremely predictable. This was case on their previous album as well, but atleast those songs were catchy. These songs just come off as extremely clean and heartless. I wasn't expecting this album to move me or change my mood or anything like that, but I think the production quality here actually works against the band.

The singing is overdone, the album is overproduced, and nothing here really stands out. I don't even think that some guest vocals from Efrem Schulz could have saved them this time around. "The Curse" could have been a lot better, but with more and more bands taking production quality over songwriting, I'm not really surprised. I wasn't expecting "Slaughter of the Soul," but I was at least expecting a solid album of memorable songs, and "The Curse" simply doesn't deliver this. The songs on here are a lot more accesible, so I guess we'll see a lot of hype in the weeks to come. I'm disappointed, not because I was expecting something great, but because I thought "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" showed some potential. However, this band hasn't matured, their songs have just been dressed up a little.

Right Side Of The Bed