Friday, June 7, 2013

"Escape the Fate - Ungrateful" Review by Dom

Overview: Escape the Fate make an un-great-ful album.

Ungrateful is the fourth studio album by metalcore band Escape the Fate and the third album with lead vocalist Craig Mabbit who was formerly the vocalist of Bless the Fall. This album sees the band at their heaviest since their debut Dying is Your Latest Fashion with singer Ronnie Radke in 2006.

With many fans being left disappointed after 2010's self-titled album this album cranks up the heaviness for better and for worse. In some songs the heaviness seems forced and not genuine. We all know that Mabbit likes to sing like an R&B star but it doesn't always mesh well. "Live Fast, Die Beautiful" talks of how girls try to take advantage of Mabbit's fame which is fine and dandy but who considers him famous? Altpress and people up to and around the age of 20 know who he is but he could walk down a street without anyone saying something to him. "Risk it All" is an interesting track, where, as the title states, they are risking it all but it makes me wonder what this "all" that they're talking about is. They just signed a new record deal with Eleven Seven Music who's roster boats the likes of Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool and Papa Roach. But what's really the question is: Do they think that this album is risking anything? The short answer is, it's not. It's a rather generic album, with heavy songs where you'd expect them(beginning and end), softer songs where you'd expect them(in the middle to break up the album) and not the most inventive lyrics. "One for the Money" is possibly the corniest and dumbest. The chorus consists of the age-old phrase that nearly everyone is familiar with, "one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go." What the band does to spice this chorus up is add a gratuitous amount of "motherfuckers" in it which just comes off lazy and idiotic. The bulk of the songs are just plain forgettable, not standing out for being good but also not for being terrible with the exceptions of "Chemical Love" and "Desire", those tracks just plain suck.

Now, the positives. The lead single, "Ungrateful" is a great track, it's heavy as hell, the chorus is well-sung and catchy and the lyrics are actually pretty solid. "You're Insane" is another good one, it's not as heavy but Mabbit's clean vocals really shine on the track and it also has a good solo in it, yes a guitar solo. "Fire it Up", the closing track of the album really fires you up(2 puns in this review is 2 too many). It's a great track with a great solo, chorus and a hell of a breakdown to close the track and the album itself. My other 2 positive standouts are "Until We Die" and "Forget About Me", both of which I wasn't crazy about the first listen through but after listening to the album front to back 3 times these songs really grew on me, with good vocals and not being as corny as some other tracks they truly deserved their spot on this album.

NOTE: I know there are 2 bonus tracks on the deluxe edition, I haven't heard them therefore I cannot comment on them.

Overall: This album isn't great, I'm not sure I could call it good either, it's a few steps up from their self-titled album and This War is Ours but doesn't even come close to touching their debut album. Ungrateful showed me that the band has the capacity and the potential to write some pretty good tracks and perform them well. Hopefully in 10 years we can look back on this album as the stepping stone that brought the band to make great albums. After their self-titled album I had given up on them, declared they'd never make good music again but this album proved me wrong and I'm happy that it did.

Rating: 4/10

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