Published Sep 16, 2015Atreyu vocalist Alex Varkatzas previously said the album that would become Long Live could be the "missing link record" that should have come out after 2006's A Death-Grip on Yesterday. On that release, the band maintained their metalcore aggression but tempered it with the mid-paced hard rock that would fully take over on the following year's Lead Sails Paper Anchor.
Unfortunately, in doing so, they eliminated many of the distinctive trademarks that set them apart from their metalcore peers in the first place. For the most part, gone was the shred-happy glam metal bombast that bled from The Curse, as was the raw darkness that encompassed these O.C. vampires on their debut. It wasn't bad; it just wasn't the same.
In that regard, their first album since reuniting is a follow-up to their 2006 offering; it's the first time the band have released an LP that feels alike to a previous effort. "I Would Kill / Lie / Die (For You)" feels like a successor to "Becoming the Bull," while "Do You Know Who You Are?" appropriates the stomp-stomp-clap of Queen's "We Will Rock You," to corny effect. "Brass Balls" embraces cheesy hair metalisms in its opener before revealing one of Long Live's catchiest choruses, and "Live to Labor" emphasizes the "core" part of the equation with a punk beat powering it. "A Bitter Broken Memory" and "Moments Before Dawn" invert that energy and approach ballad territory, at least for Atreyu. "Start to Break" opens with an In Flames riff, while "Reckless" closes with a breakdown that comes as close to the greatness of Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses as Long Live finds itself.
Though not nearly as essential as their first two albums, Long Live finds Atreyu reaching higher than they have in almost a decade. (Spinefarm)