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Congregation of the Damned

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iTunes Review

If Atreyu’s fifth studio outing sounds angrier it’s because the Orange County quintet sought to revisit their “heavy hardcore roots” on Congregation of the Damned. Since this album plays noticeably louder and heavier than 2007’s Lead Sails Paper Anchor, singer Alex Varkatzas appropriately fitted darker lyrics to these songs, many of which are themed on personal subjects of self-doubt and self-loathing — but from the opening punch of “Stop! Before It’s Too Late and We’ve Destroyed It All,” it’s clear that Varkatzas is using these topics for pure catharsis rather than driving some ego vehicle. Sometimes producer Rich Costey’s mix lets the melodies overshadow the brutality (the singsong title-track, for instance) but in other moments the balance gives the ears a delightful tug-of-war as heard on the anthemic “Storm to Pass.” The album’s standout tune is “You Were The King, Now You’re Unconscious.” More hard rock than metal, it’s a call to battle that would well accompany a sword-and-sandal gladiator film. Overall, Congregation of the Damned sounds like an older sibling of 2004’s The Curse, sans the juvenile fixation with vampires.

Customer Reviews

They did exactly what they said they would, and it worked well

We all know how everybody feels about Atreyu: Suicide Notes was hard as hell and The Curse was their masterpiece, while A Death-Grip On Yesterday was still good but not great and Lead Sails Paper Anchor...well you either loved it or hated it. Congregation of the Damned was promised by singer Alex Varkatzas to be a solid mix of their old stuff and their stuff, while also bringing something creative to the table and that this would be their best album yet. we haven't heard that before? The amazing thing is he made good on his promise of this being a solid mix of their old stuff and their new stuff. While it's hard to say that this is a better album than The Curse, I can definitely say this is a much harder, much more emotionally heavy album than any of their other three albums. There are actually some songs where you can hear sounds reminiscent of The Curse and Lead Sails Paper Anchor in the same song, such as "Stop! Before It's Too Late and We've Destroyed It All".

Where this album truly succeeds is in its ability to bring a sound from every great Atreyu song and make it better. You have your crazy, fast-paced and scream-filled songs like "Gallows" and "Ravenous", while you also have your heavy-on-the-emotions songs such as "So Wrong" and "Wait for You". There is something for everybody here. If you have ever liked a song by Atreyu, I GUARANTEE you will like at least one song from this album. I highly recommend this to anybody who enjoys a good mix of rock songs and can appreciate some solid guitar riffs, good screaming, and great lyrics. Oh, and check out the intro on "You Were the King, Now You're Unconscious"'ll blow your mind.

My Opinion on Each Song:
1. Stop! Before It's Too Late and We've Destroyed It All - 10/10 Great start to the album, extremely hard song
2. Bleeding Is a Luxury - 9.5/10 Very catchy, I wouldn't be surprised if this was their next single
3. Congregation of the Damned - 9/10 Solid song; the chorus really hits hard
4. Coffin Nails - 9.5/10 One of those heavy emotional songs I mentioned. Great, great song
5. Black Days Begin - 8/10 Not my personal favorite, but still has some catchy riffs and verses
6. Gallows - 10/10 From the second those drums fade in this song is insanely good. Love the pace and heaviness of this one
7. Storm to Pass - 9/10 Good song that grows on you, I like the choice to make this the first single
8. You Were the King, Now You're Unconscious - 10/10 The intro alone makes this song one of the best in Atreyu's song catalog
9. Insatiable - 9/10 Very different for Atreyu, but sounds like something from Lead Sails. Love the singing
10. So Wrong - 10/10 Absolutely amazing song, the lyrics will pull at you and the solos are very powerful
11. Ravenous - 10/10 This is the song Atreyu fans have been asking for since The, heavy, crazy guitars, etc.
12. Lonely - 8.75/10 You can tell they're signaling the end of the album with this song. Great chorus and lyrics
13. Wait for You - 7.5/10 Not a fan of this song, as it pales in comparison to "Lead Sails and a Paper Anchor", but still a good song regardless

If you get a chance to pick up the Best Buy version, it has two extra songs that are worth picking up. This album is amazing and I recommend it to damn near everyone I know

WOW i officially dont like atreyu anymore

i cant believe so many people legitamately like this album! i can not even begin to explain how disapointed i was when i heard this - all i heard was that atreyu was going back in the direction of their older stuff after the obvious sell-out that was lead sails, but this is FAR from different than lead sails - it sounds slightly different but its the exact same sell out style. come to think of it, i actually like lead sails more, and that is sad. PLEASE, someone explain to me why alex is trying to sing? he is not a singer, he never was, and he never will be - let brandon do the singing!!! he has an amazing voice, alex does not - they were a good band when they had alex screaming (which he isnt really THAT good at either come to think of it) complimented by brandon singing - i never write reviews on here, good or bad, but this album made me so angry that have to voice my opinion... is there anyone else out there who agrees with me?? please tell me im not crazy -they are NOT hardcore anymore and they are so predictable its ridiculous, all creativity has gone out the window - i liked listening to atreyu a long time ago because they were hardcore, they are not hardcore anymore thus i dont like listening to them anymore, simple as that - i lost respect for them as a band for selling out and i refuse to support them anymore - if i wanted to listen to some main stream teeny-bopper garbage i would have just saved myself the hassle and turned on my local radio station....


Atreyu's latest album has done exactly what I think their intention was all along. To create a hard hitting album that merges ALL of their previous influences of work together. I can hear guitar riffs that remind me of Suicide Notes, screaming and vocals that are very familiar to The Curse album, and a feel that reminds me of Deathgrip and Lead Sails. I think this album is a newer way of listening to the true classic adrenaline pumping sound that is Atreyu


Formed: 1998 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Coming out of Southern California during the rap-metal explosion around the turn of the century, Atreyu crafted a sound much closer to Agnostic Front or Hatebreed. The metalcore quintet was formed by Brandon Saller (drums/vocals), Dan Jacobs (guitar), Chris Thomson (bass), Travis Miguel (guitar), and Alex Varkatzas (vocals). Their warped, detuned guitars were matched by pounding drums and acidic vocals, which gave the material an edge otherwise absent from their sludge metal. Atreyu released various...
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