01. A song for the optimists
03. Ain't love grand
04. Living each day like you're already dead
05. Deanne the arsonist
06. Someone's standing on my chest
07. At least I know I'm a sinner
08. Tulips are better
09. A vampire's lament
10. Lip gloss and black
2002 Victory Records
These days it seems like the Orange County scene seems to be growing like a plague, and out of the pestilence comes Orange County's own, Atreyu.With one full length and an EP already under their belts, Atreyu has finally made their "major label" debut on Victory Records with this unbelievable album.
For those that have been following Atreyu since they started only a few years ago, this album is a definite change from the diversified backgrounds of Atreyu's musical past. With their first release "Visions" (Die Trying Records) being more of a punk/hardcore album, Atreyu has grown musically and now have more of a melodic metal sound that, despite the growing number of these types of bands, has made them worthy of being placed on high as one of the best bands around.
With Atreyus popularity, so has grown their talent in both song writing and musicianship. This growth is very noticeable on this album, although the EP, "Fractures in the Façade of your Porcelain Beauty" (Tribunal Records) is a very well written album, the music isn't as tight as one would expect after hearing the new CD. Not to mention that the EP still maintains some of Atreyu's more punkish influences and style while "Suicide Notes..." has much more of a "metal core" influence while still holding true to the roots of Atreyus past.
And with holding onto the past, you'll find plenty of melodic vocal parts by drummer Brandon Saller. Personally, I think that both the mix of Alex Varkatzas well written lyrics and growls and Brandon Sallers well placed melodies form together in a perfect match to make each Atreyu song more enjoyable than the last. Tracks like "A Song for the Optimist", "Lip Gloss and Black,", and "Someone Standing on my Chest" are perfect testaments to the lyrical talents of vocalist Alex Varkatzas, in all honesty, Varkatzas is probably the best lyricist in music today. Also look for guest vocals from Efrem Schulz (Death By Stereo) on track seven ("At Least I Know I'm a Sinner).
The only problem that I do have with this album is that the recording quality seems to lack some of the thickness that the old EP had. It's not something that makes the tracks sound "bad" per se, but one could definitely notice it on the tracks that were re-recorded from the "Fractures..." EP ("Someone Standing on my Chest", "Living Each Day Like You're Already Dead", and "Tulips Are Better").
Bottom Line: I think most people will be surprised by the brilliance of this album and the growing popularity to come for Atreyu. As a band that most people thought would never amount to much out of the ordinary, Atreyu has proven themselves time and time again, and has kept winning over more fans with every show they play.I highly recommend that anyone searching for a great new band out of the millions of"new" bands coming out, go out and pick up "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses."