Atreyu have been in the spotlight ever since the release of their first album: "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses." After two years, the album has sold over 120,000 units and is still going strong. The follow up album is everything one would expect from these rockers: an album that delivers honest words to the beat of melodic hardcore combined with metal. This time around, Atreyu's music has gotten even more personal. Prior to writing "The Curse", the band had been on a rather turbulent tour, being faced with numerous negative events, which lead to cathartic moments of reflection. These incidents would later become the foundation for their sophomore album, appropriately entitled "The Curse". The album deals with themes of isolation, fear, power and the contrast between immortality and mortality. Due to recent events, lyricist Alex Varkatzas (vocals) has been putting more thought into the meaning of life. He's got a solid stance on his goals, and realizes that each day should be embraced as if it were the last. "The Curse" bears a darker and more poignant sound than the previous album. Perhaps this shift can also be attributed to the addition of new bassist, Marc McKnight. Varkatzas and Brandon Saller's (vocals/drums) vocals have more urgency and ferocity than ever before, while guitar work by Dan Jacobs (guitar) and Travis Miguel is as potent as ever. This album is sure to strike a chord with hardcore and metal fans alike. Best songs are the eerie intro "Blood Children", "The Crimson", "The Remembrance Ballad" and "Nevada's Grace".