Atreyu has in its new album Baptize, a p[resentation that is among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums. Available now through Spinefarm Records, the 15-song record is a strong new offering from the veteran metalcore act. That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds its own appeal to the album’s presentation. It will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the record in whole one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.
Atreyu’s latest album, Baptize, is a positive new offering from the band. Coming approximately three years after the release of its then latest album, In Our Wake (and two years after that album’s re-issue), the record proves a positive follow-to that record. What’s more, it is another positive addition to the band’s overall catalog. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question take the sound and stylistic approach that the band used in In Our Wake and build on them in this case. There is even more balance here between the more melodic elements and hard rock/metal elements. What’s more, the band even goes nu-metal to a point again in ‘Untouchable,’ which fittingly features a guest appearance by nu-metal band Papa Roach’s front man Jacoby Shaddix. The growth exhibited through the musical arrangements in this record has resulted in an album that has already produced four infectious singles and even more singles possible. Case in point is the moving, melodic ‘No Matter What,’ the intense ‘Broken Again,’ and the aforementioned anthemic ‘Untouchable.’ Between the catchy, infectious arrangement here, the moving arrangements in the other noted songs, those in the already produced singles and the content in the album’s other songs, the overall musical approach to this record forms a solid foundation for the album. It gives audiences reason enough to hear the album.
Building on the foundation formed by the musical arrangements is the lyrical content that accompanies that musical content. The songs are, for the most part, messages of hope and determination. Not to bring it up again, but that message is clear in ‘Untouchable.’ Shaddix and Atreyu front man sing here, “We’re untouchable.” This is a defiant message that when paired with the rest of the song’s lyrical content, delivers a powerful statement in itself. The song’s lead verse is proof of that, as it states, “Watch out/Or you won’t even see me coming/Hands up…Sit down/Or you might end up starting something/They don’t know what they can’t see/And they don’t know ‘bout you and me/They don’t live in misery/Oh, no/But we don’t/We’re untouchable.” The statement continues, “Watch out…Hands up.I’m stealing moments of protection/Sit down/So come and witness my deception.” This message overall is one of defiance. It is saying that “we” are stronger than “haters” and naysayers want to believe. Thus the phrasing, “We’re untouchable.” Shaddix even screams at one point, “Don’t step to me!” So again, here is that defiant message of self-confidence and assurance. This is a message that will resonate with a wide range of audiences. It is just one example of how the album’s lyrical content proves so important to its presentation. ‘Dead Weight’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.
While much of the album’s lyrical content delivers messages of confidence and self-assurance, it is not the album’s only theme. ‘Dead Weight’ is one of so many songs out there that focuses on the matter of a broken relationship. That is made clear as the song presents the subject as someone who is feeling “like dead weight.” The inner battle is made even more obvious as the subject sings about being “lost in the smoke” and life being “so cold.” The mention of the subject saying he would apologize to someone else “for the last time…trying to find the reason” shows that even more. That inner turmoil brought on by the broken relationship is, again, a common lyrical theme in the rock community. In the case of this song, it is a song that is just as welcome as in songs from other bands. That accessibility of the message and its delivery shows why it is just one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. It is just one more way in which the lyrical themes prove so important to the album’s presentation. The content featured in ‘Catastrophe,’ the album’s latest single, is another example of that importance.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Catastrophe’ is a commentary about the statement of the world while also being a love song of sorts. The band made that clear in a prepared statement when it released the single last month.
“‘Catastrophe’ is, in essence, an apocolyptic love song,” the statement reads. “We took a more imaginative approach to the feelings about that we as individuals and the rest of the planet were going through. The world felt like it was falling apart around us. Nothing was certain, and stress and darkness were coming in from every angle. But living through it all with someone who you truly love somehow made it all okay.”
The message is made clear right from the song’s outset, which states, “Is this life, or just a dream?/Lost it all in this uncertainty/Take my hand, walk with me/As we dance in this catastrophe/Is this life, or just a dream?/Lost it all in this uncertainty/Take my hand, walk with me/As we dance in this catastrophe.” The song’s second verse furthers that dual commentary/love story as it states, “Our thoughts will rise as cities fall/The ashes raining f****** drown us all/The flames consume all that I know/I will be fine in this uncertainty.” By now, that duality is clear. That also means that the understanding of how different this song’s lyrical theme is from that of the other examined themes and those in the rest of the album’s songs. Keeping in mind that range of lyrical themes presented in this album, and even the varied ways in which the most common theme is presented, the whole of the album’s lyrical content is by now, unquestionably important to the album’s presentation. When the importance of the lyrical content and its impact is considered along with the importance of the album’s musical content and its impact, the album proves even more why it is a success. The collective is still only a part of what makes the album a positive presentation. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production of Baptize is important to examine because of how much is going on in each of the album’s songs. The arrangements featured throughout the album are fiery for the most part. That means that much attention had to be paid to balancing the vocals, the dynamics, and the general instrumentation in each song. It was clearly a time consuming task, and the efforts that went into balancing everything paid off. Even in some of the most subdued moments, those points expertly bring out the deep emotion and thoughts going through the subject’s mind. All things considered, the production ensured that the best in each song was brought out, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment. When this baseline element is considered with the positive impact of the album’s musical and lyrical content, the whole makes Baptize a record that will appeal to all of Atreyu’s audiences.
Atreyu’s new forthcoming album, Baptize is a positive new offering from the veteran metalcore band. It is a presentation that any of the band’s audiences will appreciate and enjoy. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question bear some similarity to the works from the band’s existing catalog. At the same time, they also show a certain amount of growth from the band. That growth makes for its own share of enjoyment and engagement. The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical content add their own touch to the album, too. That is because said content is accessible both in itself and its delivery. The record’s production rounds out the album’s most important elements. That is because it brings everything together, completing the album’s presentation. The instrumentation and vocals are expertly balanced in each song. That makes for its own appeal. The balance also makes it easier to decipher (and in turn appreciate) the lyrical themes. To that end, the time and effort that went into completing the album’s presentation is just as positive as the album’s content. When it is considered along with the album’s content, the whole makes Baptize a successful new offering that is among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums. Baptize is available now through Spinefarm Records.
More information on Atreyu’s new album and forthcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at: