Rhythm & Views


Orange County's Atreyu are making the biggest name for themselves on Ozzfest's second stage this summer. Their second release, The Curse, will also turn some heads in the process.

Describing the sound of Atreyu is not easy, but the word "fusion" is a start. Elements of old-school metal, goth, hardcore, death and thrash metal mashed together gives listeners an idea of what they are in for.

A death metal scream, a '70s-style solo and pounding double bass opens the lead track, "Bleeding Mascara." Next is "Right Side of the Bed," the song which should break Atreyu out of the underground metal scene and garner them a bigger fan base. "She never looked so good, and I never felt so right / I felt so wrong," whispers vocalist Alex Varkatzas. A catchy rock song, the song deals with pain, regret and misery.

"The Crimson" and "The Remembrance Ballad" best highlight the diversity of leads, power chords and harmonies by guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel; and throughout The Curse, Brandon Saller shines as a phenomenal all-around drummer.

Also, Varkatzas displays a wide range of vocal talents, from grunts to growls to the melodic and emotional. Lyrically, Varkatzas touches on such personal experiences and feelings as dealing with paranoia and leading a better life. Varkatzas is able place himself with the likes of Phil Anselmo (Superjoint Ritual, ex-Pantera) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour).

New to Atreyu is bassist Marc McKnight, a friend of the band who replaced the departed Chris Thomson.

If there's one album metalheads should buy on a whim this year, it should definitely be The Curse from Atreyu.

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