I never thought I would be given the task of reviewing a new Atreyu album, especially after their fall from grace in 2009. There was a time when this band dominated the metalcore world, I mean they possess the MOST VIEWED review on this very site for their 2004 album The Curse. Like many of their peers, Atreyu tried their best to achieve mainstream success, but failed to reach the heights of a band like Avenged Sevenfold. After reforming in 2014, the band has released a new album in the form of Long Live.

Going off of imagery alone, it was clear that Atreyu was going to return to their metalcore roots. The twin vocal attack of frontman Alex Varkatzas handling all the screaming, and drummer Brandon Saller doing his signature clean vocal choruses are still the formula for most songs. The opener and title track "Long Live" begins with a wall of guitar noise building into an explosive opening riff, fit with big sub bass drop to really hit the listener with the fact they're back to their old sound. This track is friendliest to fans of the 2002-2006 era of the band, complete with a chuggy breakdown and gang vocals.

As a whole, the record remains pretty heavy throughout. Although, some pieces of the band's mainstream attempts sneak into some songs like "Live To Labor" and "Do You Know Who You Are", the latter having an eighties drum beat buildup with clap snares. "Brass Balls" sounds as hilariously awful as the title of the song itself, I was doubled over when I heard the cheesy hair metal guitar line. The track "A Bitter Broken Memory" can easily draw parallels to The Curse single "The Crimson".

The problem lies within the varied sound of the 12 tracks. It appears that Atreyu set out to write 4-5 songs that would really appeal to their older fan base that longed for the early 2000's, and the rest of the tracks are a mixture of their last two albums. The success of Atreyu's return will largely be determined by this album and its ensuing tour. I was onboard for the first couple albums, and continue to be for nostalgia purposes. This one isn't doing it for me though. Long Live is out September 18.