The long wait for ATREYU fans is almost over. The Orange County rockers have completed the follow-up to 2007’s highly acclaimed Lead Sails Paper Anchor. The album, titled CONGREGATION OF THE DAMNED, produced by Bob Marlette (Airbourne, Ozzy Osbourne) and mixed by Rich Costey (Mars Volta, System of A Down, Rage Against the Machine), will be released OCTOBER 26. The band will perform at the Reading & Leeds Festivals here in August.
“I wrote the line ‘congregation of the damned’ for one of the songs on the album and it got me thinking,” says vocalist Alex Varkatzas. “It kind of feels like in a lot of ways that we, as members of a society, are just gathering around and collectively getting fucked over. When you look at what’s going on in our economy and how other people treat each other, it’s kind of like we’re all just lemmings. We’re lined up blankly staring blindly at nothing and just going along with the flow like a congregation of the damned. So this record really reflects my thoughts and feelings about that in every possible way.”
While Congregation of the Damned addresses some dark, troubling subject matter, creating the album was far from a struggle. The band starting writing new material in January 2009 and by the time they entered Henson Studios in Los Angeles with producer Bob Marlette, they had 25 new songs. “I think this is the longest our band has ever had laser-like focus on an album,” Varkatzas says. “We were all working together really well and we had a great time in the studio with Bob, who we called BeelzeBob. He’s this jovial cigar-smoking, goatee-sporting dude from Nebraska, and he really helped us fine tune the material and nail our best performances.”
Congregation of the Damned features some of the band’s heaviest riffs ever on tracks like “You Were the King, Now You’re Unconscious” and “Bleeding Is A Luxury”, but it also contains some truly delicate and sentimental moments, including piano ballad “Wait For You.” “That one’s just a beautiful song, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have a heart,” Varkatzas says. “I’d say that this album is a mix of everything we’ve ever done. For every song that’s more melodic or rock-driven there’s a total shitkicker, and I think that’s what makes us a well-rounded band.”
Besides the Reading & Leeds Festivals, Atreyu kick off a US tour with Hollywood Undead in October and will remain on the road throughout most of 2010. “The new set is gonna feature a lot of songs from Congregation plus a bunch of other stuff,” Varkatzas comments. “We’re just really happy with the album and we can’t wait to play it for people live!”