Review Summary: Escape The Fate continue to anger old fans and critics alike, by going further away from their original sound.
Continuing in the opposite direction to that which their fan base wishes, Escape The Fate get further from the Post-Hardcore/Screamo roots of their Ronnie Radke era EP’s and Album, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, which made them such hot property, and further towards the mainstream.
Half of Escape The Fate’s problem is their self image. In reality they are simply a bunch of kids now playing fairly average music to teenagers, however they view themselves as the 21st century Motley Crue or Guns N Roses. This seems to mean taking on the Rock N Roll “bad boy” persona and adapting for that image, when they would be far better playing the music they play best and forgetting following an image. In interviews they declared they will “change rocks landscape” and “rewrite rock music.” From the sound of it, they failed miserably.
Yet again they have ditched the screaming in half the songs, and even have a piano-led ballad in World Around Me. The album opens properly with Massacre, a metalcore song with electronic elements. The song itself is fairly average, with the main annoyance being just how similar to UK Metalcore band Bring Me The Horizon it sounds, with their biggest single Chelsea Smile, seemingly being ripped off (So much so, I find it hard to not sing the Chelsea Smile lyrics). The next single Issues fairs a lot better, a stomping anthem, devoid of screams and electronica, with a decent riff that slows things down, and a rather short and slightly pointless solo. This is the first point since their debut album where you can actually hear the bass all the way through a song, and makes a nice change in a genre where the bass is usually turned down in the mix. Sadly the bass line is fairly basic and not worth noting.
The next few songs are fairly varied in quality, with Zombie Dance being a slow stomping song which builds into an incredibly catchy chorus that makes you feel like… well, dancing. Featuring death growls in parts it’s a nice change. Gorgeous Nightmare features some rather bland verses but a well worked chorus, before yet another solo. The next song, City Of Sin, carries on the quiet verse/loud chorus, and features another solo, but the main problem with this song, however, is the simply appalling lyrics. Next song, Day Of Wreckoning, fares slightly better, featuring entirely screamed verses and a breakdown (which due to being the first notable one on the album, actually has an impact), which Escape The Fate have avoided since their debut album. The next three songs come across as simply filler. The first, Lost In Darkness is the worst song on the whole album, and I rarely have the patience to sit all the way through it, and Prepare Your Weapon is just a fairly average metalcore song.
If a band is to do a ballad then the singer must have good lyrics or a unique voice, otherwise it tends to be awkward and so it proves with World Around Me, the piano ballad. The average singing is not helped by the poor lyrics and the start is rather repetitive, but things do pick up when the whole band comes in and a solo is, again, present.
Saving the day is the final in the Guillotine Trilogy, The Aftermath, filled with solo’s and drum fills and tempo changes its the sort of song Escape The Fate should be creating every time. The problem with this song is that it highlights what the band COULD do, as well as showing how above the rest of the band Bryan “Monte” Money, the guitarist, is. He pulls impressive solo’s out on almost every song and always has a good riff to add where he can. When compared, the fairly pop-punk fare drumming, average bass lines and awful lyrics, show just how far ahead of the rest of the band he is.
The worst of all these problems are the lyrics, as it can be hard to buy into a song when the first words you hear are “Come on/Come on/Shake your money maker/Take your time, do it right tonight/Double down another round/Everybody wears a crown/Place his face on my face/Send it into outer space” which are more than just cringe inducing, they are plain embarrassing to be caught listening to. The actual singing is a vast improvement on the last album, as Craig Mabbit seems more comfortable and has made Escape The Fate his own. Similarly Max Green’s screams and growls continue to impress.
While a better album than the largely awful This War Is Ours, Escape The Fate is a rather hit and miss collection of songs that really is nothing special, and continues to infuriate those of us who fell in love with them when led by Ronnie Radke.
First review, constructive criticism would be nice.