Atreyu‘s new album, The Beautiful Dark of Life, arrives Friday, December 8. It combines the metalcore outfit’s recent run of EPs, which were released individually throughout 2023.

In releasing the album in a piecemeal fashion, Atreyu wanted to not only tell the overall story of The Beautiful Dark of Life through different chapters, but they also hoped to put a greater focus on each and every song.

“You put out an album and maybe four or five songs get a spotlight, and the rest of them just hide in the dark for the rest of existence,” frontman Brandon Saller tells ABC Audio.

And that’s not just a gut feeling: With the advent of streaming, artists have hard data on which songs are getting the most plays.

“We can statistically see [that] songs six through 11 on an album or whatever … just don’t get nearly the attention,” says bassist Porter McKnight. “And they are, in our opinion, some of the best songs we’ve ever written.”

He adds, “[The EPs are] giving light and air and breath for people to focus on these songs and connect with these songs a little bit more, as well as allowing us to put out songs more consistently over a period of time.”

Guitarist Dan Jacobs, who called into the interview from vacation in Italy, likens the release strategy to a multicourse meal versus “dropping all the food on your table in one go and having this big plop of things.”

“You don’t get to truly enjoy the meal to fullest extent ’cause it’s a little bit overwhelming having everything in there,” Jacobs says. “You don’t know where to start, where to go, you’re kinda mixing and matching too many things at the same time.”

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