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Review

Escape the Fate undergoes transitions, but still falls short

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October 9, 2008

  Have you ever had a band or favorite group that either lost members or altogether decided to call it quits? In 9/10 cases, if the group replaces lost members, the band is never the same and will lose large numbers of listeners. I’m experiencing this phenomena with the renewed Las Vegas quintet, Escape the Fate. Numerous line-up changes took place in 2005 and the final line-up came into focus in 2006. Bassist Max Green sums it up perfectly, “Our guitar player walked out in the middle of a tour, our singer went to rehab twice, then he went to jail, he got probation. Later we couldn’t leave the United States, then we couldn’t leave Nevada. Our singer became a drug addict, our bass player – that’s me – became a drug addict. I got cleaned up, we kicked out our old singer, and a ray from heaven shined down on us with an amazing opportunity.”

  Craig Mabbitt, ex-frontman of Blessthefall was that opportunity. Craig brings a variety of vocal ability in comparison to former singer, Ronnie Radke. Many critics believed that Radke’s inability to write lyrics that were not plagued with themes of death and decay of relationships and a false sense of personality.

  Reinvigorated, Escape the Fate headed into the studio with John Feldman (The Used, Atreyu, Good Charlotte).  The new album is exactly that, a mixmash hodgepodge of all three of Feldman’s former produced albums. The album, “This War is Ours,” is due out Oct. 21 on Epitaph Records. When the intro to the albums first track, “We Wont Back Down” hits, I completely eradicated everything I’ve ever loved about Escape the Fate and Craig Mabbitt as a singer. “We Wont Back Down” weakly proclaims that this band is at the mercy of his grasps and that Escape the Fate as a whole are moving on from everything they’ve experienced in past years. While I expected more screaming from Mabbitt on the introductory track, I was pleasantly surprised going into the next track entitled “On To The Next One.” Sad to say, there aren’t many tracks on the album that separate themselves from any other pop-punk, alternative bands out there. Tracks like, “Ashley,” “Something,” and “Harder Than You Know” were written for the all ages crowd.

  In a statement released by the band prior to the release, they state “This is the next generation of rock. We’ve been through a lot of shit this last year, and we took all that anger, frustration and sadness and molded it into an album with huge rock choruses, in your face riffs and melodies and drums that will give your parents a heart attack.” Radke’s arrogance and ignorance stuck deeply rooted into the band, but this album isn’t the next generation of rock. “This War Is Ours” does have a few saving graces. The debut single, “The Flood,” is opposite of everything stated above. This is an in your face proclamation of Craig’s issues with the parting of Blessthefall. It isn’t lyrics about death and all the other non-sensical bullshit that Radke spewed each day while sounding like a thirteen-year-old teenager.  The second single,  entitled “This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Part II),” is the album’s highest point. With an introduction similar to that of Halo 3, it quickly dissipates into ear-splitting trills and riffs combined with thunderous double kicks and high paced barks from Mabbitt. Lyrically, the song doesn’t provide the listener with anything that will change your life. This song screams at the top of its lungs that Escape the Fate is back and here to stay.

Erik Wood is a student at UW-River Falls.