originally posted on Saturday, 25 May 2013
If there’s one genre of heavy music I’ve grown a bit tired of, it’s this genre of “post-hardcore” blended with pop-punk elements, a genre that doesn’t truly have a name but they seem to be taking over the world. Bands such as Pierce the Veil and Blessthefall all fall under this sub-genre with their distorted music behind a singer who sounds like he (or sometimes she) could be singing modern day pop hits, but occasionally they don’t shy away from screaming, as well the bands don’t shy away from using the odd electronic element. These are the kind of bands that appeal to kids who don’t generally like heavy music but not-so surprisingly find appeal in these bands.
Now I don’t mean to sound like I’m ranting against them, this is merely an opinion of a genre that I used to quite like. There are still bands that follow this style that I do enjoy; Escape the Fate being one of them. Being one of the earliest bands to be in this craze with their 2006 debut Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, they’ve always been just a step ahead of most other bands. Their second album This War Is Ours, with then-new singer Craig Mabbit (after the ugly departure of Ronnie Radke) was a step in a softer direction, but they answered that with their dynamicself titled third album. To follow up that effort the band released their fourth album, Ungrateful, which in some ways picked up where the previous album left off.
The album, just like the previous album, starts off very heavy. The first thing you hear on the title trackbefore anything is Craig Mabbit taking a big breath, getting ready to scream his head off, which he does for most of the song, saving his soft and nice voice for the chorus. Lead guitarist Brian “Monte” Money, whom improves on each album, shows he is still in fine form, maybe even better form. This heavy metal sound of this song continues in to the next track Until We Die. This time the singing is a bit reversed, with more clean vocals, saving the screaming for only few parts.
Live Fast, Die Beautiful is the start of the pop-ish songs on the album. In typical Escape the Fate fashion, the music of the song is fairly heavy and definitely dramatic (with a hell of a guitar riff) and Craig using his clean and nice sounding vocals throughout most of the song, though before each chorus he does belt out a scream. This song is an example of how songs on This War Is Ours could have been better. Its heavy music background saves this song from being a pop song in the way most songs from This War Is Ours were.Forget About Me only continues with the attitude of Live Fast, Die Beautiful, only this time the speed is turned up even more. This song, however, lacks a true hook like so many “post-hardcore” bands of this sort do. In fact, the middle section break is something that EVERY single one of these bands do; while most of the song has clean vocals, the middle section turns in to a slow double bass driven bridge, with just one distorted guitar note playing while the singer just starts screaming. Listen to other bands of this genre, you’ll notice they do this a LOT.
The albums second single (the first being Ungrateful) is You’re Insane. Listening to previous Escape the Fate singles, it’s no surprise that this one was chosen. It is your typical song by the band; a little sleazy, with a slow yet heavy drum beat keeping up the pace while Craig sings and occasionally screams some moderately catchy verses and choruses in to the microphone. This song would show fans that the band hasn’t really changed much direction from the previous album. Luckily this is not the case. Risk It All, heard later on the album, follows the same structure, only this time a more appealing guitar riff was used and a hell of a guitar solo is heard.
The album continues to slow down its pace more and more. Chemical Love is one of the slowest paced songs on the album. The song is very dark and has some elements that make it try to sound a bit scary, such as the opening keyboards heard in the intro, the low singing style used as well as the guitar solo all sound like they could belong in a horror movie. And once again, the next track, Picture Perfect slows down even more, but this time being more of a ballad for the album. This song is an example of why bands of this sort appeal to kids who generally don’t like heavy music. Nothing in this song shows any evidence that Escape the Fate is a heavy band. Luckily it doesn’t turn in to a boy band song like Harder Than You Know did on This War Is Ours. Picture Perfect may not appeal to anyone but Escape the Fate fans or mainstream music fans, as it doesn’t really have a true feeling like most good ballads do.
After this point the album starts to pick up again, with Risk It All, and then Desire which successfully sounds more like a hard rock song than a typical Escape the Fate song, and then One For The Money, which has probably the best guitar riff on the album. Though the song tries to maintain a tough demeanour, it doesn’t truly stand out compared to other moments on the album. It then ends with Fire It Up. This song is a cliché to a lot of hard rock songs and doesn’t truly have anything special to it other than its chorus, which doesn’t sound half band.
Comparing this album to the other two Craig Mabbit-sung Escape the Fate albums, it is definitely better than This War Is Ours as I’ve pointed out throughout points (though don’t get me wrong, This War Is Ours is in fact a really good album). It’s hard to say if this album is better than their self titled album. I mean I feel this album has a bit more filler tracks in comparison, but the band definitely found some more balls (almost literally with the addition of another member, rhythm guitarist Michael Money) and in turn released some of the heaviest songs in the bands entire catalogue.
If asked which Escape the Fate album would be best to listen to first for someone who has never heard the band, I wouldn’t cancel this album out as an answer, though I think I believe the self-titled album would be better to give the listener an idea of the band.
“Until We Die” – Not the heaviest song on the album, but definitely not the softest by a long shot. This song shows the heavier attitude the album holds throughout, but also shows fans that the melodic aspect of the band is not lost. It is structured like many previous Escape the Fate songs, in terms of its heavy sound that is complimented by a soft bridge heard after the guitar solo, and features some soft piano sounds to even out the intensity of the track.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|“Until We Die”||4:26|
|“Live Fast, Die Beautiful”||3:52|
|“Forget About Me”||3:04|
|“Risk It All”||4:00|
|“One for the Money”||3:19|
|“Fire It Up”||3:53|