Album Review: Escape The Fate – Ungrateful

By on May 11, 2013

etfpromoReleased: May 14, 2013

Label: Eleven Seven

HHM Rating:

[xrr rating=7/10]

Following an extended stay in lineup changing, label switching “band limbo,” Escape The Fate are finally set to release their new album Ungrateful. In this release, the band bridges the gap, artistically, between their more melodic, post-hardcore sound on This War is Ours and the more mainstream rock radio-friendly sound heard on their 2010 self-titled album. Ungrateful opens with its title-track: the explosive, in-your-face lead single that left so many fans starry eyed with excitement earlier this year; Mabbitt delivers an aggressive vocal onslaught (his best performance to date), and the Money brothers crave out a tone of urgency with slashing delays and distorted effects. The album’s next track “Until We Die” finds Escape the Fate blending metalcore with stylistic elements of glam metal once more—striking a similar chord as their 2010 song “Prepare Your Weapon.”

Ungrateful peaks early with “Live Fast, Die Beautiful” and “Forget About Me”—the intricate riffing and vibrantly rhythmic chorus of “Live Fast, Die Beautiful” really synergize for a standout track—as Mabbitt cuts deep & personal with lyrical mocking: “Just like some fucked up version of Marilyn Monroe, did daddy not love you?” and “Girl, you’re getting nowhere, tryin’ to use my fame.” “Forget about Me” sonically flirts with the band’s earlier sound on This War is Ours—similar in tempo and making use of the post-chorus breakdowns found in fan-favorite “The Flood”—while adding a new pop element to the chorus and creating a seriously catchy, melodic number with some major radio appeal. The album’s second single “You’re Insane” continues the commercial appeal with a soaring, arena rock chorus, delivered in grandiose fashion. “Chemical Love” crawls in next, slowing it down and taking a dark turn in conceptual contrast before “Picture Perfect” (the closest to a ballad we get on Ungrateful) delivers an emotional performance of vocal conviction backed by bluesy melody.

Ungrateful hits a sobering wall in its last four songs. “Risk It All”, “Desire” and “Fire It Up” just come off as boring, mid-tempo rock—devoid of any thematic depth or layered technical skill heard on earlier tracks—and lyrically, “One For the Money” is just painfully unforgivable in every sense—this leaves the end felling choppy, rushed and last-minute, but the album’s first seven tracks really do carry their own weight and make it a worthwhile listen. And such, Ungrateful winds up sounding initially promising, exciting and explosive, but slightly incomplete with respect to a fourth quarter slump. @MattCrane

Pre-order Ungrateful on iTunes today.