• Axl Rosenberg

Cover ArtThe hype around Congregation of the Damned is that it’s a return to Atreyu’s older metalcore (excuse me, “metallic rock”) outings. This is bullshit. Congregation is another ham fisted arena rock failure posing as one of Atreyu’s metalcore albums.

Now, inevitably, some punk is gonna come around here and say “Atreyu’s sound could never stay the same forever, and why would they want it to, and blah blah blah, pee.” To which I say: well, I’m not the one going around telling people this album is going to sound nothing like Lead Sails and a Plug-in Vagina. The dudes from Atreyu are.

So these songs still seem like they’d feel just as home on some pop-punk album by a band with a number in its name. They still had to auto-tune the mother luvin’ shit outta Brandon Saller, who should stop being a terrible singer and stick to being a ho-hum drummer. Alex Varkhoweverthefuckyouspellit is still, like, a half a step away from rapping (Although no one ever shouts “Fight fight fight ’til the break of dawn” like they did on Lead Sails and a Pepper Asshole). My dog’s decisions about where to hide my socks in the morning remain more creative and adventurous than Atreyu’s sense of songcraft.

To be fair, listening to this album didn’t always make me wish I’d been born deaf. I was totally willing to go along with “So Wrong” until the vocals started. The guitar solo on “Lonely” is simple but nice. “Wait for You,” a power ballad that sounds like it’s being sung by a chorus of computers, kind of reminds me of an old Tiffany song, and even though I never liked Tiffany, I had an older (female – duh) cousin who did, so it at least takes me back. And there’s a string section thingy on “Bleeding is a Luxury” that I enjoyed, even if a gajillion other bands have done it better. I’m a sucker for string section thingys.

But the songs are almost universally ill-advised, and the album is generally about as exciting as watching a corpse rot. When reviewing Lead Sails and a Pamplona Rancor two years ago I said that Atreyu were heavily influenced by Metallica’s Load, and “Black Days Begin” proves that I’m right. “You Were the King, Now You’re Unconscious” will be loved by Lord of the Dance fans everywhere. And at least one song, “Gallows,” just made me wanna stab myself in the ear drums with John Holmes-sized cocks.

In short: this album isn’t really competent, but it’s not laughably bad, either. Attack Attack! is a band that will still have camp value in ten years – in fact, I think the reality of how popular they were will just make the whole thing funnier, like how we feel now looking back at Enuff Z’Nuff. That’s rough news for Atreyu: Congregation of the Damned might not be the worst album of the year, but it’s certainly one of the most forgettable.

metal hornsmetal horns half

(1 1/2 out of 5 horns)


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits