Atreyu Tour 2020 – Named after the lead character in the fantasy novel “NeverEnding Story”, Atreyu is a metalcore band based in Orange County, California, US, noted for crossing intense screamo stylistics with strong pop sensibilities.
Atreyu was founded in 1998 by vocalist Alex Varkatzas, guitarist Dan Jacobs, bassist Brian O’Donnell, and drummer Brandon Saller, although at the time they toured under the name Retribution. They later changed their name upon discovering that it was already taken by another Californian band.
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Atreyu started their career playing an aggressive blend of metal doused in raw ethos and set a flame with searing guitar riffs, blood curdling screams, and thunderous drums. The band is strongly influenced by the expected heavy metal legends (i.e. Slayer, Black Sabbath), but also cites less predictable sources of inspiration like Swedish post-hardcore pioneers Refused, experimental art punk king Nick Cave, and formative emo acts like Hot Water Music.
The group released their first EP “Visions” independently in 1999. It came out through the California based label Die Trying Records and has since become a highly sought after rarity due to it’s limited production run. Atreyu’s 2nd EP “Fractures In the Facade of Your Porcelain Beauty” came out in 2001, this time through Tribunal. This EP like their previous one is incredibly hard to find and is also their first release to feature the implementation of two guitarists.
Atreyu entered into one of Victory record’ notoriously rigorous contracts in 2001, producing some of their most critically acclaimed material during this period. Their debut album “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses” came out in 2002 and though it initially only generated a cult following, it later tapped into the mainstream thanks to repeated plays on shows like Headbangers Ball and Uranium.
Their sophomore effort “The Curse” came out in 2004 and sold close to half a million copies following its release. The band’s profile started to rise shortly after, primarily due to several appearances in films (“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Underworld: Evolution”) and video games (“Burnout 3”).
“A Death-Grip On Yesterday”, the third album by Atreyu exceeded the commercial success of their previous releases and was likewise revered by critics. Though it was leaked through the P2P website BitTorrent before its official release, the album still ended up doing incredibly well on the charts peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. Their next release “The Best Of… Atreyu” appeared at No. 103 on the Billboard 200 and No. 6 on the Top Independent Albums chart. It also marked their last release through Victory records.
In 2007 the band signed on with world renowned metal label Roadrunner Records and released their album “Lead Sails Paper Anchor” later that year. This release rose to No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and featured 3 singles, including the stand out tracks “Falling Down” and the Hot Topic exclusive “Becoming the Bull”. The re-release included the cover songs “Epic” by Faith No More and “Clean Sheets” by the Descendants. Atreyu promoted this release on both the US and UK legs of the Taste of Chaos tour playing alongside Bullet for My Valentine, Avenged Seven Fold, As I Lay Dying, D’esparis Ray, and Mucc.
The band’s next album “Congregation of the Damned” proved to be dynamically varied in terms of style and technique, but was also cited as the group’s most coherent release. It also featured credits from Ozzy Osbourne collaborator Bob Marlette and sound mixer Rich Costey, an affiliate of System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine. They promoted the release on an extensive co-headlining tour with Hollywood Undead, Escape the Fate, and the Sleeping.
Producer Bob Marlette returned to work with the band on their 5th studio album, which featured contributions from members of Chiodos, blessthefall, Endless Hallway, and Architects. Atreyu went on a series of tours backing this release before taking a three year break starting in 2011.
Atreyu ended their hiatus in 2014, releasing the free of cost track “So Other’s May Live” on their website. Atreyu also began playing live shows that year, performing at festivals such as South By So What?! and Slipknot’s Knotfest.