Sound — 6
This is a different Atreyu then from "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" (their first album.) Their lead singer Alex Varkatzas have ditch the low pitch (he screams a little bit, but not where it count) screaming/growling that the band used in contrast with drummer Brandon Saller singing with an rougher voice to do the hell/heaven verses and chorus. The band signed with Hollywood Records (Plain White T's, Jonas Brothers)and their sound have suffer in my opion. But this sound is more direct towards to newer fans that they hope to get. Not saying anything, but I think it was the records company idea. So lets get started. Most of the songs in the CD has some sort of little intro. Some of these intros are dumb because they do nothing with the song while others is a riff or beat that is being used through out the song. "When Two Are One" is a song that has sharp clean intro that is used mid way through the song but it doesn't help set the mood of the song. It only tricks the listern to think this would be a ballad. The bands guitarists does come up with acouple of original riffs like "Becoming the Bull" and "Slow Burn." But other tracks feels like fillers such as "No One Cares." Being a fan because of "A Death-Grip On Yesterday" and going back to listen to older records, this sound does turn away old fans. Both "The Curse" and "A Death-Grip" was a lot better sounding as far as guitars, bass, and drums goes. This sound feels like the band half ass it with only "Falling Down" and "Becoming the Bull" the most interest tracks.
Lyrics — 7
Lets start off with the screaming. There is barely any compare to past records. Alex Varkatzas sings in this record more then any other. When screaming is heard, it usually is a high pitched scream that someone else in the band does which makes me wonder what use do they now have with Alex if Brandon does most of the chorus and does someimes takes over verses? Brandon is propably one of the better drummer/singer out there today (yes, I think he is better then Underoath's Aaron Gillespie.)His voice carries the songs to where they are needed to be to make them a good song. As for lyrics, songs like "Becoming the Bull," "Honor," "Doomsday," and "Slow Burn" makes this interesting to listen to. But the song that made me ashamed was "Blow." This is like when Suicidal Tendices released "Suicidal for Life" as to show the band was still underground and the same old band. Like them, Atreyu foregot what the fans really loved, the screaming of Alex. We don't care how much he says the f word, as long as he is screaming it. But before you go saying: "Screaming hurts his voice now more then ever." Ask someone who has "Lead Sail and Paper Anchor 2.0" and listen to their cover of Faith No More's "Epic." Alex screams rap this song and sings it also in the chorus. This track is the best one I love out of this album.
Overall Impression — 6
What Atreyu's career has gone through is similar to what Avenged Sevenfold's has gone through: a screamo album: Atreyu, "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses." A7X "Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet"(granted, "Warmness of the Soul" and "Streets" were not screamo). Amazing second album: Atreyu, "The Curse." A7X, "Waking the Fallen." Solid third album: Atreyu "A Death-Grip on Yesterday." A7X "City of Evil And the fan spliting fourth album; A7X self titled. This album has loss older fans and made more fans hate the record company.(what metal punk band signs with a Dinsey owned record company). Older fans now more then ever will have a death grip on yesterdays Atreyu albums where Alex screams more in "The Theft" then most of the songs on the newer album. While newer fans have to watch where they say "I'm an Atreyu fan but I only have 'Lead Sails and Paper Anchors,'" for the fact that you may piss a couple of older fans off. If a newer fan, go listen to "The Curse" to listen to a great Atreyu album. If a older fan, lets hope Atreyu goes to Roadrunner records or somewhere else then Hollywood Records. This album to me doesn't impress me, it just dissapoints me now that the band have lose its edge. If it was stolen, I wouldn't mind just because it is not a great album and it is already on my computer. Bottom line: This isn't a great album. Borrow it, don't buy. "Lead Sails and Paper Anchor 2.0" is only good depending on your computer to get the bounse content off the cd. And newer fans, DO NOT BUY "The Best of Atreyu." That will not help you!