Sound — 8
What can I say, Atreyu have definitely improved their sound a lot on this CD compared to their previous two albums. The guitars are flawless, the drum work has improved greatly, and vocals are (to much relief) a lot better! One thing you will notice straight away is that the riffs are much cooler and catchier (take the song "Deanne The Arsonist" for example), and that the songs are structured a whole lot better. Sound-wise, everything has improved, which is great to see from this band. Before, their songs were a bit wild and crazy, but now they've matured a bit and the tracks off Suicide Notes And Butterfly Kisses are more serious and professional.
Lyrics — 7
One of the things that make Atreyu stand out are the vocals. They have two vocalists; Alex, the screamer, and Brandon, the singer (and drummer as well). Alex has a unique scream, kind of a half-growl half-yell, and on this album it is good to hear that he has refined it a lot more, as it seems to sound more natural and less 'put-on'. The way the two share roles on the album is another example of how much more mature the band has become - their seems more stucture and organisation to the way they both add vocals to the songs. Lyrics-wise, things are a bit more serious this time compared to their first album, Visions. When I say serious, I mean that kind of emo-ish seriousness (though it does seem to go well with the melodic guitar work in the background). "I wish I could stop crying. And I wish that someone still loved me." The corny kind of lyrics are probably one of the only flaws on the album though.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall, Suicide Notes And Butterfly Kisses is a pretty solid release from Atreyu. It is not the best, but it is certainly a good listen. Compared to their previous album's, it is a vast improvement to say the least. Things are much more professionally done on this CD than before, from the way the instruments are played to the way the songs have been produced. The only minor flaws are the emo lyrics, and that a few songs are filler. Tracks to check out are "Dilated," "A Vampire's Laments," "Lip Gloss And Black" and "At Least I Know I'm A Sinner." If you like metalcore that kind of borders on hardcore punk, you will like this CD. If it was stolen, I would probably buy it again. But I'd rather get The Curse, their even more recent album, which is a lot better.