Review Summary: Not as bad as people make it out to be....
Escape the Fate
* Craig Mabbitt - lead vocals
* Monte Bryan Money - lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
* Max Green - bass, backing vocals
* Robert Ortiz - drums, percussion
"This War Is Ours" - 2008 - Epitaph
Escape the Fate is a band from Las Vegas, Nevada that formed back in 2004. They fit in the Post-Hardcore genre probably more then any other genre, but they also incorporate some elements of Metalcore into their music too. After a demo and an EP, they released their debut album "Dying Is Your Latest Fashion" back in 2004 and despite mixed reviews, a strong fan base began to follow. "Dying Is Your Latest Fashion" was a big album IMO, they didn't do anything that made it a masterpiece but they brought a refreshing sound to the ever so repetitive genre of Post-Hardcore. The lead singer Ronnie Radke's unique voice and the guitarists using solos was something that you don't find often in Post-Hardcore. However demons plagued ETF in 2007 as they lost Radke the lead singer (we all know the story so I'm not getting into it) and one of their 2 guitarists.
Fast forwarding to 2008 brings me to the Escape the Fate we know today. Consisting of 4 members, Craig Mabbit left Blessthefall to take up vocal duties and Bryan "Monte" Money is still leading as the only guitarist, Max Green is still on bass as is Robert Ortiz on drums. The release of "This War Is Ours" as their 2nd full length received overall hash criticism from fans whose fans base was divided boldly in half with Radke 's departure. Many dislike Craig and want Ronnie back, but that's not happening. Anyway onto the CD:
This War Is Ours" is much more eclectic then "Dying Is Your Latest Fashion" Elements of Post-Hardcore are still present, but so are Pop-Punk, Screamo and even a little bit of Alternative Rock. The album has its moments, no doubt about it. 4 singles have been released with videos for each and I have enjoyed them all. "The Flood" was the lead single and was for a damn good reason, the song rocks and really combines all the elements of the album together. It has a a catchy yet edgy verse, catchy chorus and even what I consider a brutal screaming breakdown in the middle. The title track
"This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Part 2)" was by far the fan favorite as it is the standout track of the album with heavy riffs, screamed vocals and a clean yet catchy chorus. "10 Miles Wide" and "Something" were the other 2 singles and showed a much more radio friendly sound, even though "10 Miles Wide" still delivers some great screams and growls.
The albums flaws are very noticeable too. "Let It Go" didn't do much for me, neither did the opening track "We Won't Back Down". They are not horrible but didn't really bring anything exciting to the album. "On To The Next One" and "It's Just Me" were very different and sounded just weird with horns in the chorus" The new vocalist Craig really has a terrific voice and I'm not gonna compare it to Ronnie's, but, I have a hard time listening to it for more than 5 or 6 songs straight. Sure he can sing and scream great, but it just gets a little repetitive. Also with only Monte on guitar, the band can't do anything too complex, sure the solos are still there but they sound more forced this time around. Both the bass and drums aren't anything spectacular but they get the job done. Seems that everyone in the band is not a legend on their instruments by any means but all can play well and are able to make it work when it all comes together.
Sure the band is a bit sound wounded and diminished down to only 4 members but they used what they could and molded it into a good, yet ultimately forgettable album. I still recommend giving this album a spin if you haven't already as it is still Escape the Fate and it brings something different to the overflowing genres it falls into. It's not as bad as people make it out to be, but is still ultimately forgettable.
Overall about - 3.6/5