Since 2010, Escape the Fate have seen some serious changes. From switching labels to the departure of bassist, Max Green, to finally solidifying a new lineup, it has no doubt been a transitional period for the group. Nevertheless, after three long years of Escape the Fate fans starving for a new album, it has arrived…or, rather, has dropped like a musical bomb. After their 2010 self-titled album provided some seriously heavy tracks and some ripping guitar riffs, only the term “tough act to follow” comes to mind. And yet, the band has exploded back on to the scene for their 2013 album, Ungrateful, and have managed to outdo themselves.
The title track, “Ungrateful”, opens the album with an aggressive welcome. It is loud, fast, emotional, and 100% Escape the Fate. With the delicate balance between growls and melodies mastered, Craig Mabbitt jolts the listener into a state of excited anticipation for the remaining ten songs. It is no surprise that “Ungrateful” was the first single released: it is an absolute powerhouse of a song. Alternatively, songs like “Picture Perfect” offer more delicate lyrics, layered over a still electrifying guitar, sounding slightly like an ‘80s power-ballad.
The rest of the album follows suit, staying true to the metal-core roots of the band, while also offering ETF’s typical catchy choruses. Inevitably, the chorus to “One For the Money” and “Forget About Me” will be playing on repeat in my head. All the songs offer an upbeat, rock vibe simultaneously making me want dance and fight: the delicate but excellent balance only achievable by artists in the post-hardcore genre.
The only potential criticism could be that all the songs sound similar. However to me, this means Escape the Fate has finally mastered their distinctive sound. As a fan since 2008, I can hear the band growing more mature with each album. While many underground groups are selling out or breaking up, Escape the Fate continue to modify and grow. They use new production methods to enhance their sound, not cover it up. Overall, I can say that Ungratefulhas far surpassed my uncertain expectations and Escape the Fate has defended its spot within the ranks of my favorite bands.