Atreyu are back, and to the dismay of many fans, “A Deathgrip On Yesterday” is not “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses Pt. II” that they have been waiting for. It is, however, reminiscent of it. It has all the pissed off lines of “Suicide Notes..” while keeping the musical style of “The Curse.” Clocking in at a little over 30 minutes and having nine tracks is bound to upset some people. Don’t ask me what they were thinking, because I don’t know.
“Creature” opens the album with the signature Atreyu sound; Metal tinged guitars that evolve into jock rock chord progressions, and the dueling vocals of Alex Varkatzas and drummer Brandon Saller. Lyrically, this song is closer to “Suicide Notes..” as there are no Vampire references flooding your ears.
“Shameful” starts off showcasing Saller’s melodic presence as Alex serves as backup this time. Brandon’s voice has only gotten better over the past three records. If there was no screaming, this would be a straight up rock song as opposed to the “metalcore/hardcore/post-hardcore/whatever” label people have tagged this band with.
“Our Sick Story” is more of the classic Atreyu formula. Screamed verses with explosive melodic/scream-tinged choruses. Plus, there’s a guitar solo to boot!(Doesn’t compare to “Lipgloss and Black’s”, though.)
“The Theft” is a real oddity. You’ve never heard a song like this from Atreyu before. It’s a fucking ballad! I’m sorry, but that was my initial reaction to the song. You’re honestly going to be like, “What the Hell?” when you hear this. Don’t get me wrong, though. The song isn’t bad. Alex actually sings here. I don’t know why this dude hates his melodic voice. It’s pretty good on here. It definitely sounds like he’s worked with it, though.
“We Stand Up” will help you remember that you’re listening to Atreyu. It’s fast, heavy, and one of my favorite tracks on the album.
“Ex’s and Oh’s” is the “Drink Your Problems Away” anthem. I could easily get drunk to this song and have a ton of fun with it, even though it’s not a happy song by any means. Hell, it sounds like the band may have been drunk when they wrote it.
“Your Private War” is weak, basic Atreyu filler. Skip it.
“My Fork In the Road” is lyrically weak, but the music more than makes up for it. Despite the basic lyrics, the song is enjoyable.
“Untitled (Finale)” is another strong track musically, but the lyrics leave a lot to be desired. This is also not the best way to end this album.
With an even balance of high and low points, Atreyu still haven’t found the right spot. They seem to still be toying around with their sound, but this album seemed rushed, writing wise. Lyrically, I’m not impressed. Another, more focused, concept album could be what this band needs.
3. Our Sick Story (Thus Far)
4. The Theft
5. We Stand Up
6. Ex’s and Oh’s
7. Your Private War
8. My Fork In the Road
9. Untitled (Finale)