In Our Wake is the follow up to Atreyu’s 2015 album ‘Long Live’ that album was very well received by fans and critics alike, proving that a long overdue return from the band was something everyone had been waiting for, and many people were wondering which direction the band would head in next.
Long Live was imbued with a lot of fire and felt like a classic Atreyu album in all the right ways. In Our Wake dips a little bit more into the band’s polished rock back of tricks. This is a sonically powerful album that sounds absolutely massive, and it contains some genuine fist pumping anthems, but it does have some pretty glaring issues as well.Starting off with the title track which is a honestly a bit of a tepid start, instead of kicking the album off with a bang, we start with a bit of a whimper, its a mid tempo romp that does little to engage the listener, but is over quickly enough that we get on with the rest of the album without dragging out the opening too much.
Nothing will ever change is the moment the album starts to hit its stride. It’s a fast paced rager that really wakes the album up with grinding riffs, soaring passionate vocals and a chorus big enough to swallow the world. Its a shame then that as soon as the album picks up momentum it loses it almost immediately, with Blind Deaf & Dumb which wanders almost into nu metal territory with syncopated rap vocals and an uninspired beat that sounds more akin to something like Eskimo Callboy or Hollywood Undead at their most lazy, Its a real WTF moment that hits in the middle of the album and is possibly one of the worst things Atreyu have put their name to. Terrified and Safety Pin are two straight pop songs that have a really lush production, they feature mostly clean vocals but they lack any real depth or soul, they come across as shallow and vapid and like a real attempt from the band to push themselves to more mainstream audience, but sadly they fall flat.
Paper Castle and Anger Left Behind bring a little bit of the heaviness back, both featuring some massive great crunchy riffs and some of the most well balanced vocal performances on the album perfectly blending the harsher vocals and the melodic ones and making the most of the Atreyu formula they have perfected over the years.
The album’s closing track is a melancholic melodic opener that features a three way split between Aaron Gillespie of Underoarth, M.Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold and Alex Vakatzas. It’s a great track that really blends together 3 of the best bands of their respective scene and allows each vocalist room to breathe and showcase themselves as well as a collective, its an unexpected highlight that sees the album go out on a high.
Atreyu are a band I have followed from the beginning and have always been open to what they have brought to the table and its been a hell of a ride over the years, but unfortunately In Our Wake is an underwhelming entry in their canon. I respect them for attempting to expand their horizons and trying to push themselves in different directions, its just that some of those directions happen don’t land as well as you would want, and it drags the rest of the album down, leaving very view highlights, with that said when the highlights do come, they pack more of a punch due to the rest of the parts around them being so wildly all over the place, leaving Atreyu in a very interesting position going forward and it certainly has me wondering where they go from here.