Published Oct 11, 2018When a metal band's own press release contains the words "Disneyland meets E.L.O.," there's cause for concern. When it's a band like Atreyu, who abandoned their metalcore roots long ago for a more palatable brand of Hot Topic post-hardcore (resulting in critical and fan backlash), the red flags become overwhelming. It's not every act who can boast of selling out twice, but Atreyu may have achieved that distinction.
While they were once compared to Shadows Fall, it's the influence of Imagine Dragons and late Linkin Park that drives In Our Wake. Everything about the album feels predetermined to the point of feeling faceless. The ideas are also far from fresh, whether it's the cringe-y rap-rock of "Blind Deaf & Dumb" or Coldplay-aping power ballad "Terrified." Even cameos from M. Shadows and Underoath singer Aaron Gillespie can't save "Super Hero" from sounding like something Breaking Benjamin left on the cutting room floor.
For new listeners, In Our Wake will be adequate, if slightly forgettable, radio-rock fare. But to the old fans who have stuck with Atreyu through hiatuses and stylistic changes, this feels like a slap in the face. This isn't progression as much as it is fishing for the approval of a group that Atreyu used to make fun of. (Spinefarm)