Atreyu Congregation of the Damned

Atreyu Congregation of the Damned

Back with their fifth studio album, Atreyu have mostly abandoned their metalcore roots, opting for an arena rock sound topped with hints of heaviness, and it works well. Always able to write catchy riffs and choruses, Atreyu have stepped-up their game on Congregation of the Damned with tons of shredding guitar solos, barraging drums and well-structured songs. The best part of this 13-track disc is the increased melodic vocal presence of drummer Brandon Saller. While lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas often sounds croaky, Saller has an impressive range. The album flows well, minus a few awkward stints. Trying to sound epic on "You Were The King, Now You're Unconscious" but ultimately failing, the track starts with marching band drums over a cheering crowd background, transitioning into overly-produced guitar/drum rhythms. And sappy love ballad closer "Wait For You" is extremely difficult to listen to, as Saller and Varkatzas sing about heartbreak and being lost and lonely. (Hollywood)