Atreyu took its name from the warrior-boy character in The Neverending Story. This so-Cal quintet consists of Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel on guitar, Marc McKnight on bass, Alex Varkatzas on vocals, Brandon Saller on both drums and vocals, and Marc McKnight on bass. Most of the band's lineup has remained stable through its nine-year tenure; however, these guys go through bassists the way Spinal Tap went through drummers (minus the exploding part). Current bassist McKnight was preceded by Kyle Stanley, Brian O'Donnell and Chris Thompson. Atreyu's first full-length album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, was released in 2002 to positive reviews. Follow-up releases generated greater buzz for the band, especially their hit song, "Her Portrait in Black," featured on the Evolution Underworld soundtrack. With a trio of studio albums under their belts plus a couple of early EPs, the members of Atreyu rolled out a greatest hits album in 2007. Sources say, they're working on a new album, so that'll be interesting.
Atreyu does one hell of a job talking about the dark side. Although frequently lumped in with other emo/metalcore hybrid acts, the band displays a depth that goes beyond Hot Topic set. It's a mistake that could be easily made, though, because Atreyu's sonic and lyrical elements don't fit neatly into any single mold. They're more melodic than straight hardcore, although the vocals are similar, yet they're not over-whelming enough to file under goth or power metal. The layering of grinding vocals cut through with snippets of soaring melody calls, which remind most of bands such as.... Fear Factory or Godsmack. Their newest album, 2006's A Death-Grip on Yesterday, displays more melodic emo elements, which has likely contributed to that album's broader appeal. The singles off this release, "The Theft" and "Ex's and Oh's," have a more mainstream, slower tone that will likely give Atreyu a commercial boost, although it is certainly a departure from their earlier, heavier sound.