Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
Talks of California’s long time renowned answer to Metalcore, Atreyu’s newest offering has been kept as a relatively quiet surprise to many until the reveal of The Hope of a Spark came about on 15th March.
As these are the artists that make up part of a network for the OG Emo bands from my teen era, as we all know, I’m a huge fan of nostalgia with the space to listen out for evolvement.
A 4 track EP from Atreyu just in time for the Spring to hit this side of the globe gives us another opportunity to explore more of the vocals from newer voices of Atreyu with Brandon Saller and Mark ‘Porter’ Knight… and honestly, I cannot knock these guys for embracing that evolvement and owning it.
We’re opened to The Hope of a Spark with the first single from the EP ‘Drowning’ and it starts as an abstract intro of synths that suspend us into an incoming wave of heavy and maddening beats crafted by Kyle Rosa that blend into ambient breakdowns as soon as the groove laden riffs come crashing in alongside the devastating bassline from Mark.
Evidentially, Brandon’s vocals are gorgeous. His cleaner pipes in this track creates a lining to the cathartic moods created, talking to us of dealing with depression and anxiety until the very end where Mark delivers an exceptional injection of harsher vocals to bring the song to a filthy drop, right before a whole new vibe hits into the next track.
‘God Devil’ releases a vibration of sub bass infused synths with some marching beats of Kyle to introduce the track before falling into the background which offers the backbone of the song whilst Travis Miguel lays down some absolutely menacing riffs amongst the energy emanating from the powerful vocals.
I interpret this track to be much about self forgiveness of sorts. The lyrics talk to us about our own self power and being judged from the outer world entities, for us to be heard. Powerful solo to boot to highlight that energy gives the ending to the song.
‘Capital F‘ is my favourite track from the EP. There are again, ambient and atmospheric tones and synths lacing through this track that touch upon the subtle supports to the devastating blows of the more Hardcore Metal elements of Atreyu.
This track is a great example of how each member can bring a song together with their own inputs to create something exceptional. The breakdowns are gorgeously heavy and highlight Mark’s bass leading the undertone to that energy alongside the blastbeats of Kyle.
Dan Jacobs echo riffs that are face melting supported by Travis’ melodic stance on the strings and all topped off by vocals that flick between beautifully clean and full of emotion to filthy and powerful, with the brief guttural to boot.
The last track and second single ‘Watch Me Burn‘ starts off as a somewhat anthem style vibe. This track gives me a sense of nostalgia in some places from back-in-the-day Atreyu that allows for some fun vibes and is a more of a bouncy and punchy liveliness that gives a catchy edge to end off The Hope of a Spark.
I enjoyed this EP a LOT. One that will make my Summer playlist and have me headbanging around when I’m feeling a heavy and forward momentum fun vibe.
Whilst last full length album Baptize introduced us to a new chapter for Atreyu with a reshuffle of members, EP Hope of a Spark showcases another example of songwriting that along with the change, shifts the evolution of the band whilst not forgetting their roots.
Be sure to give this a go. It’s out on 14th April!
Watch ‘Watch Me Burn’ here:
Mark ‘Porter’ Knight – Bass, Unclean Vocals
Brandon Saller – Main vocals, Guitars
Kyle Rosa – Drums
Dan Jacobs – Lead Guitar
Travis Miguel – Rhythm Guitar