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.
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