Review Summary: Escape the Fate deliver a cohesive album this time around, but they are by no means "rewriting rock music as we know it."
Prior to this album's release, the band created quite a hype train for themselves. Bassist Max Green stated that the band was "wiping the slate clean and rewriting rock music as we know it." He also stated that this new album would be "the cure for the modern day music epidemic." This album is not a "cure" by any means. This record is actually part of the infection that keeps this scene in the era of sameness that it is currently trapped in.
On the musicianship side of things, everything is pretty decent. Bass is audible on most tracks (this is most evident on the track Issues), and Brian "Monte" Money provide some interesting riffs and leads on many tracks. The only problem I have with Monte is that he seems like a cheap gimmick in this band. He seems miles above everyone else in the band, and the band uses him to their advantage. It just makes me wonder how long the band will be able to use his riffs before realizing that without him they would not be all that good.
Craig Mabbit has never been the best lyricist, and this album is no exception. Some his lines are actually cringe inducing, where in "City of Sin" he tells an unamed female to shake her "money maker". Rewriting rock music? I think not. This band has some invisible "bad boy" image to live up to and its songs like this that make it seem forced. He sings in "Lost in Darkness" that he cant find his inspiration, and I have no choice but to believe him.
Craig does deserve recognition in one aspect of this album and that is his singing. Craig's voice on this album is better than anything that I have heard him do before. This may be in part due to producer Don Gilmore who did a stellar job with the production on this album. Everything sounds crisp and clear but never overproduced. It finally feels like Craig is confident in his role as the vocalist for ETF and his performance is a lot better than on This War is Ours, where his vocals just sounded awkward.
Escape the Fate have crafted a cohesive album this time around and i applaud them for that, but if you make promises about rewriting rock music, you better deliver. While this record is better than their last, it is certainly nothing to write home about. Screamed verses and sung choruses are littered throughout the album and we have all heard this formula done over and over again. Fans of ETF's previous records will find a lot of enjoyment with this album. For those of you looking for the rewriting of rock music, look elsewhere. This album is nothing more than average and that is not enough to rise above this oversaturated scene.