Listen Up: Wednesday, April 12, 2006
files\2006-04-12\lup2(atreyu)4-12.jpg
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Atreyu

A Death-Grip on Yesterday (Victory Records)

By Justin Press

There’s aggressive music, and then there’s professional-grade aggressive music. Every other week seems to be amateur hour, and the pro stuff doesn’t come around very often. But even when it does, it’s rarely as accomplished, polished, and original as Atreyu’s A Death-Grip on Yesterday.

Think we’re kidding? Just check out the third track, “Our Sick Story (Thus Far)” — over a galloping “Run to the Hills”-type rhythm, twin axes thrash and burn, conjuring memories of legendary duos like Downing and Tipton, Roth and Schenker, and, of course, Murray and Smith. Then there’s “We Stand Up” and its soccer stadium-sized chorus, quicksilver six-string solos torn from the Book of Yngwie, and savage, ragged riffs that churn and burn from start to finish before you can even catch your breath. Vocalist Alex Varkatzas really flexes his muscles on “Your Private War.” As a simple, ominous progression piles slowly and methodically atop a march, the singer’s voice alternates between guttural and squeaky-clean seemingly at will.

Even though the loud displays of incredible skill are cool, Death-Grip is also full of nuances that may come to the fore only after deep listening, like the way the band slows down or speeds up the tempo just ’cause or how, in trading off solos, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel appear to be reading each other’s minds.

As for the name of the record, it’s totally apropos. Atreyu’s first three albums are all imitative of styles of the day and thus definitely fall in the amateur-aggression category. The point of departure for Death-Grip, however, isn’t last week’s hit parade but last century’s. On the closer, “Untitled Finale,” the drumbeat is pure Led Zeppelin, proving that hot-shit youngsters won’t ever be able to move forward until they learn — and learn from — Yesterday.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2018 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions