It seems like releases coming from Chicago's Victory Records follow a pattern. They seem to start out fairly solid, and over time, they seem to lose their luster, and give up what good they have to offer within the first 3-4 songs. Such is also the case with A Death Grip On Yesterday, the newest outing by Atreyu.
Having exploded from the Orange County scene in 2002 (according to their own words), Atreyu puts forth some decent songwriting, by metalcore standards, at the outset of their latest release. Where the album runs into a problem, however, is in a few different areas. First, the staying power of the album. Even though the album is only 9 songs, and just over 30 minutes, it still seems to drag on a bit. It doesn't really have that 'bite' that keeps the listener holding onto each track, wondering what is coming next. The album starts out fairly good with its first few tracks, but then takes a drastic turn it never should have with track number 4, "The Theft". It almost sounds as if they are trying to pull of their own version of a Queen song. Queen is a great band. Problem is, Atreyu is not Queen, and "The Theft" is not a Queen song. And even though the album seems to make a bit of a recovery towards the end, it still isn't nearly enough to save it.
Another issue with the album's overall feel is the element of commercial appeal that can be heard throughout. Bands like As I Lay Dying, Unearth, and Misery Signals write music to tear your face off. Atreyu seems to write music that can tear your face off, but that you could also hear on the local alternative station. That serves as a fatal blow to the album. Perhaps if the band were less worried about being commercially viable, they'd put out an album that was not only more hard-hitting, but more credible in a scene that is already overrun with average sounding metalcore bands.