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Atreyu, From Autumn to Ashes – May 7, 2004 – 32 Bleu – Colorado Springs


Considering I’d never heard of Atreyu, I was surprised to see they really packed 32 Bleu in Colorado Springs, a city where venues are often challenged with getting people to leave the confines of their homes to come listen to live music. Not only that, but the crowd was especially impressive, with quite a range of ages – from what seemed like fourteen-year-olds to the mid-thirties “hard-cores.” Big props go out to Victory Records and Soda Jerk Records for a good turnout.

Hailing from Southern California, one would expect the band to have more of a punk influence, but Atreyu is an odd mix of Metal and Emo. Yes, I said metal and emo. Their website ( claims a genre of “melodic hard rock” but I found the hard rock to be a little heavier, and the melodic parts to be downright emo. I suppose it’s just a matter of opinion, and with all the sub-genres today, it’s hard to pin a tail to any specific donkey’s ass.


Atreyu’s music is full of technically satisfying guitar riffs, complicated rhythms, and interesting drum fills. Vocalist Alex Varkatzas rides the intensity of their aggressive wave, and drummer Brandon Saller picked up the melodic tides with his own level of power – something I thought was not only rare, but impressive. Overall, Atreyu dominated the stage, making it a fun show to watch, even if we weren’t a part of the pit. The guys didn’t look like your average a hardcore band. There were no full sleeves or dreads, but hey, it’s the music that counts.

The downside to the show was the lack of an original sound. Even being as technical as they are, at no point did I ever hear anything that made me take a second listen. After hearing their latest CD, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, I really expected there to be points of intrigue during the live show, and it just didn’t carry over. Maybe they just didn’t play the songs that I heard before or maybe I just missed the good parts. Either way I was a bit disappointed.

One thing I have to point out that’s a bit off topic is that the headlining band, From Autumn to Ashes, sounded exactly like Atreyu, down to even having the drummer taking over some of the melodic vocal parts. While it was impressive, seeing it twice in two bands took away the novelty and just left the headlining band high and dry for originality, the last thing the show needed.

Overall the bands both performed well, had tons of energy and a good crowd that not only got into their show, but knew their material enough to sing along. There really isn’t much more you need from a show. The rest is just a matter of judgment, and my judgment is: if you like the current rage of hardcore bands and don’t mind a few emo measures thrown in, get your ass to the next Atreyu show. They will be playing on the second stage at the ‘04 Ozzfest (July 24 at Fiddlers Green), which should be damn cool this year.


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