Sound — 9
Atreyu has always been well known for their unique blend of sound. Alex's soaring, painfully emotional screams coupled with Bradon's killer drum beats and Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel's punk-metal guitar riffs are most likely what landed them to be signed to Victory Records for this debut. The sound is brilliant on the record, if you like the sounds of under-produced records. Think Megadeth's "Peace Sells" or Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" in terms of quality. With this being said, the riffs made and songs written are absolutely brilliant. Though it is only a debut album, it was a step in the right direction for the band at the time. Songs like Tulips Are Better, Lip Gloss And Black, A Song For The Optimists, and Ain't Love Grand are still considered classics from the band today, and are the main highlights of the album.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are an acquired taste, mostly for the teenage audience, myself included. Most of them (with the exception of At Least I Know I'm A Sinner, which is about religion) have to do with heartache. You almost wonder what the hell the woman Alex is constantly crying about did to him. His lyrics make the situation sound terrible and tragic. But I guess that's what they were going for. On this album, Brandon's singing wasn't very melodic, but his voice still helped carry the songs. Alex's screaming however, was very throaty, and you could hear his voice crackle and give out during screams often. This would become a problem solved in later releases, however.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all, this is one of Atreyu's best albums. The instruments are well done, but the vocals could use some work. If you want more from Atreyu, I suggest getting the Curse, as it is, overall, their best album. If it were stolen or lost, I would definitely buy it again.