Words/Edited by: Alexia Kapralos
Escape the Fate is a band that’s been through hell and back. Through legal troubles due to backstabbing (former) band members, lineup changes, and more, they are survivors, and they let you know that with their new album. Now emerging stronger than ever, they’ve just released a new full-length album on October 30th called Hate Me. If you’re a fan of hard rock and post-hardcore, you’ll surely enjoy this album.
Vocalist Craig Mabbitt is full of angst, passion, and raw emotion, which shows in his voice and lyrics. It adds another layer of relatability to this album because these are normal human emotions that everyone feels at some point in their life, and hearing this conveyed through his vocals makes the lyrics feel all the more real. Although this album marks a more radio friendly approach to Escape the Fate’s music, the band has still retained their true character and charm within the music.
The album begins with “Just a Memory.” This is one of the strongest songs in my opinion. It’s like an anthem for anyone who’s felt betrayed or have been backstabbed. Of course, it’s an angry song; although the album in its entirety isn’t exactly an angry album per se because there are hints of hope. But this song does set the thematic undertones for the album: hatred, anger, the feeling of no longer trusting someone you once trusted, and rising above these negative feelings.
Moving on, we’ve got “Live For Today.” This song may be one of the more formulaic radio friendly songs on the album, but I love it because of its powerful lyrics. It’s an uplifting song, also fitting in with the album’s main theme. With lyrics including: “When all of the hate is too much to take/just live for today,” listeners are left feeling empowered to continue to hold their head up high in times of hardship and negativity. It adds another perspective on viewing the album’s theme because it’s one that includes a more positive outlook, rather than just a release of white-hot fury.
Although the album is very good, not all songs are memorable or special. “Remember Every Scar” has uplifting lyrics, but aside from that, it’s rather forgettable. Featuring more uplifting lyrics, like “All the tragedies make you who you are/ remember every scar”, show the strength Escape the Fate has when overcoming adversity. As for the musical portion of the song, the song’s start seems to take the easy (and generic) way out: lots of “oohs” and a few guitar chugs – nothing special.
Escape the Fate slows it down with “Breaking Me Down”. This song plays like an epic rock ballad and even includes a mid-song guitar solo. You could practically hear the emotion communicated through the vibration of those guitar strings. The softer mood it casts offsets heavier, opposite tracks such as “Just a Memory” and “Les Enfants Terribles.”
Other notable songs include “Get Up, Get Out” and “Les Enfants Terribles.” “Get Up, Get Out” may be angry, but it balances emotion with more of that radio friendly sound that I mentioned earlier (which isn’t a bad thing in this case since it works). Moreover, “Les Enfants Terribles” contains a lot of energy. This would be a fun song to see played live because it has bounce that I feel the crowd would move to.
Going toward the end of the album, “Let Me Be” is interesting because it’s the only song on Hate Me to feature acoustic guitar. This song is definitely one of the most experimental for Escape the Fate on the album because it sounds like nothing they’ve made before. It also reinforces their more polished, radio friendly sound that’s been going on throughout the album.
Hate Me concludes with “End of the Night.” This song doesn’t feel like one of the strongest to end off on, especially on such a strong album, but it’s not a bad song by any means. It is good because it contains powerful emotion, just as the first track “Just a Memory”, which bookends the album nicely. It’s a great thematic conclusion, tying the theme of overcoming betrayal together. This can be heard in a lyric that goes: “Im not a ghost, Im not invisible/it’s not the end.” That just screams angst and emotion.
This album contains the sass of the band’s earlier Ronnie Radke days and the polished sound of this current Craig Mabbitt vocalist era. With a cohesive theme, easy-to-listen-to hard rock sound, Hate Me gets an A+ overall in my books.