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Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses

4.3 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sorrow, regret and revenge procreate in a dark lonely corner of your heart. It's that little piece of yourself that you try and hide from seeing the light of day. Southern California's Atreyu thrives on that darkness.

Taking a new direction in the world of metal they fluidly balance sinister metal riffs with technical, finger tapping cadences. Their blend of soothing vocal harmonies lull you into a state of momentary bliss, until your dreams are abruptly shattered by a menacing growl so fierce it will make you want to impale your delicate face with any object within arm's reach. Atreyu represents the perfect hybrid of hardcore, emo and metal.

About the Artist

"An emotionally charged fusion of screaming metallic hardcore and catchy breakdowns." - Revolver

Southern California is celebrated for its sunshine and renowned for continually producing some of the worlds best punk rock bands. Atreyu will dispel any predetermined notions you may have previously had of a band from this area.

Depression, pain, desire and retribution procreate in a dark, lonely corner of your psyche. Its that sordid piece of yourself that you try and hide, deny and bury. Orange County Californias Atreyu is embroiled in the struggle to break free from this disenfranchising abyss. Atreyu has taken a new direction in the world of melodic hard rock. They make extreme a little more accessible, emo a little more haunting and severe backed up with a powerful hardcore foundation. The album was recorded at the legendary Trax East (Hatebreed, Snapcase, Catch 22) and produced by Erik Rachel.

"Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" is a wrenching window into the mind and heart of bandleader and lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas. Varkatzas rich allegorical songwriting focuses on dealing with the human growth struggle and the pain and desire of relationships. Atreyus incendiary musical alloy can best be described as a complex, passionate, emotional maelstrom of torment, revenge, vindication and release. Song titles like Tulips Are Better, Lip Gloss and Black and A Vampires Lament evoke a quandary of elicit images. The musicianship is technical yet fluid with a precise, thunderous rhythm section.

Accentuating Atreyus unconventional aura is the two-headed vocal delivery of Alex and drummer Brandon Saller. Alex is the ferocious, menacing, caustic and seething skull while Brandon is the tranquilizing, harmonious, Elysian cranium. This vocal duality migrates the gamut of melodramatic expression creating an ethereal yet turbulent soundscape.

Over the past three years Atreyu has garnered a dedicated, ardent, underground following on the West Coast. In December, 2001, Atreyu released their debut EP on Tribunal Records entitled, "Fractures in the Faade of Your Porcelain Beauty", recorded with producer Paul Miner, bassist of Death By Stereo. "Fractures" has been extremely well received and immediately garnered rave reviews.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: June 4, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Victory
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • ASIN: B000066JH2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
That is how Atreyu describes their music and I must agree. They straddle the line between Killswitch Engage and Iron Maiden and do it VERY WELL. Every song is amazing, moving, heavy, and memorable. The clean/growled vocal trade off is reminescent of the afforemention KSE and Shadows Fall, so if you are a fan of those bands do yourself a favor and get this.
For a debut album, the songwriting skills are very impressive.. even so much that some amount of mainstream success could lie ahead for them. I really don't know how to describe it other than amazing.... probably the premiere metalcore album of this year. Fav songs = Ain't Love Grand, Lip Gloss and Black, Someone's Standing on My Chest
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Format: Audio CD
The first song on this record 'A Song For The Optimists' slowly fades in, into a thick black metal-esc guitar solo and the sound of Alex's very unique throaty vocal pattern, pummelling the listener. The more you listen to this record, you can't help but notice their musical style jumping out at you, as if their Guitarists went and took songwriting lessons from fellow label mates Darkest Hour, so much so that the main guitar riff at the beginning of the first track 'A Song For The Optimists', sounds exactly like Darkest Hour's 'For The Soul Of The Savior'. Now by saying that I am not ripping Atreyu, because I actually really like this band. One of the main reasons I do is that very same first track, which goes through at least 5 tempo changes, showing incredible range on the bands part, as well as the vocalists.
It's rather enjoyable to hear a band with this much range, and it's just the first song. This range continues throughout the record, adding in soft melodic rock (I refuse to say emo) interludes (see track 2 'Dilated') and fast paced hardcore two-steppin' parts to their already fierce black metal-ish approach. There is alot of melodic soft singing throughout this record, my favorite section has got to be the beginning of the third song 'Aint Love Grand?', vocals that are so soft and harmonious and pleasing to the ear. One of 2002s highlights, undoubtedly.
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By A Customer on July 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I completely agree with the review saying that a lot of hardcore is nohting new and that there are a lot of hatebreed ripoffs. There are even more poison the well ripoffs. However, i assure you atreyu is not one of them. For one thing, Atreyu's lyrics are not in any way unoriginal.Instead of the usual "Why doesnt the girl i like like me back im so sad" nauseating lyrics, atreyu's lyrics aree actually wel written and very original. As far as the music is concerned, no hardcore band that i know of has vocals as devastating as lead singer alex varkatzas, and no hardcore band has a drummer with as good a singing voice as brandon saller. I also have yet to find a hardcore band using the occasional swedish metal guitar licks played on songs like "dilated" and "at least i know im a sinner". The point is, just because atreyu is on victory and is associated with bands like hatebreed does not make them unoriginal. Listen to the songs on this record and decide for yourself.
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Format: Audio CD
Atreyu is one of those bands that all the elitests, music snobs, and even the kids who think they know good music (but honostly, don't) will not be raving about. Why? Atreyu are a part of a very long line of the new wave of recent swedish-influeced metalcore bands to appear recently. But; just to give you an idea of why you should listen to this album instead of just taking these people's opinions and discarding the band altogether, some of these are the same people who think this is hardcore (in what way does this sound like Madball? Scarface?), thought Metallica's new disaster of an album was amazing, and think that they hordes of Swedish/European bands are all the best metal bands of our generation - while these bands have mountains of talent, there are very few who actually use that talent to make GOOD metal. There is a DIFFERENCE.
All that BS aside, this is my honost opinion of Atreyu: A very talented band - that puts that talent very much to use. They obviously are highly influenced by labelmates Darkest Hour, just listen to Atreyu's 'A Song for the Optimists' and Darkest Hour's 'For the Soul of the Savior', but Atreyu have sacrificed the blazing speed to make more intricate guitar melodies, memorable song arrangements, and punk-choruses to make a very memorable record, which is what makes them a very unique band. This is where the appeal in Atreyu lies - they don't have the huge talent of Dream Theater, Dillinger Escape Plan, or Opeth and they aren't out to change the face of music, but the music speaks for itself... Atreyu is amazing in it's own right. Just listen to the inspired guitar playing in "Deanne the Arsonist" or the heartfelt chorus and amazing conclusion to the album in "Lip Gloss and Black".
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Format: Audio CD
Another great hardcore CD. Vox are unique, which is a big turn on. In response to the guy below unhappy with Atreyu's anti-Christian message...I don't find it anti-Christian at all. He (being Atreyu's lyricist) is not calling Christians in general weak, but he is specifically speaking to those who would judge him, condemn him, and act like complete jerks to him, yet they are the ones in the wrong by being hypocrites and not showing love. You know? It's more anti-hypocracy, IMO. Hope this clears things up for you and others. Just another view-point.
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