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Escape The Fate
Escape The Fate
Interscope Records
www.escapethefate.net


The hardcore quartet Escape The Fate have chosen their third release to be their self-titled record, eschewing the belief that if you are going to make a self-titled album, make it your debut album. In one way their self-titled album is starting-them-from-the-start, being that the band has a new lead singer, Craig Mabbit, replacing Ronnie Radke while Radke deals with substance abuse-related issues. Escape The Fate built a following in the hardcore dominion with their two previous albums, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion in 2006, and This War Is Ours in 2008. Guitarist Bryan "Monte" Money, bassist Max Green, and drummer Robert Ortiz don't stray far from what they wanted when they first started out, which has its assets and its liabilities; one of which is that hardcore is no longer in vogue like it was once back in 2003-2005 with bands like Thursday and Breaking Benjamin, and at the same time, the quality of hardcore never deteriorates in the band's hands.

The album opens up with the ambient rock chasms of "Choose Your Fate", with chimerical soundscapes and cinematic effects that segue into the hardcore-crimped riffage of "Massacre" and "Day Of Reckoning". The ghostly, noir-tinged atmospherics of "Lost In Darkness" make way for the ramming guitar shreds of "Prepare Your Weapon" which contrast the candlelit piano dirge of "World Around Me." And what would a hardcore album be without the high voltage flares and guttural screams howling along the passages of "The Aftermath"? The band also introduces a groove rock rhythm in "Zombie Dance" which has a club vibe and electro-pop swags lining the remix version of "Issues". Songs like "Liars And Monsters" and "The Final Blow" are modulated with melodic rock lesions, and the glam rock webbing of "City Of Sin" has a chic complexion.

The lyrics have a penchant to reflect on past misgivings like in "The Aftermath" when Mabbit tells, "This war has been won / Visions haunt me in my dreams / Visions of what I've done / So much blood shed / Now am I worthy to come home / My God forgive me / For all of the bodies I've taken in battle / Oh God don't forsake me." Other songs reflect on the misgivings of society like in "World Around Me" as Mabbit describes, "I don't wanna be demanding / I just wanna know the reasons why / We live and die in a world of lies / Addicted to the way we crash and burn / I gave it all away, now its your turn / Watchin' me, watchin' you / Don't wanna see the worst in you / So don't let it come true."

If Escape The Fate made promises not to forsake their hardcore background, then rest assured they did not renege on their deal with their self-titled album. Granted, their music sounds redundant at times, like the songs could have come right out of another band's catalog or something from Escape The Fate's previous albums, but the record measures up to the ideals of hardcore, and in that way, their self-titled album cements them in the genre.

-Susan Frances

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