Atreyu's debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, is an invigorating foray into melodic metalcore in the vein of Darkest Hour, Poison the Well, and Eighteen Visions. Helmed by the tortured vision of frontman Alex Varkatzas, Atreyu looks to strike a name for themselves in a genre that has experienced its share of attention, yet while other bands look to simply bludgeon the listener to death with a permanent double-bass thrash, these five men wish for a little bit more originality to be added to the metalcore equation. Exquisitely crafted, the band fuses Swedish metal riffs in the vein of At the Gates with the tremendous rhythm section that never ceases to amaze with its precision and intricate nod to detail. Varkatzas' inflamed vocal screams make even the listener wince with pain, yet this vocal agony helps convey the sincerity and depth of his lyrics. Drummer Brandon Saller backs these growls of pain with melodies of passion, apparently contributing a beam of light into the darkness that consumes Varkatzas. Together, these two men make for some spectacular vocal moments, as their give and take on "Ain't Love Grand" is breathtaking. "Someone's Standing on My Chest" is a much more volatile blend of emotion and anger, as Varkatzas' ferocity is just barely kept in check by Saller's melody, and explodes into a tumultuous thunderstorm of sound on numerous occasions. Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses is an outstanding debut for a band that has its eyes set on the top of the heap, and with its extensive slaying of all heavy genres, Atreyu is quite possibly the next big thing in the metalcore scene.
AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor