REVIEW: ESCAPE THE FATE – “Hate Me”
In the past decade, Escape the Fate’s music has been subject to a fair deal of both appreciation and criticism. Their music incorporates elements of various styles ranging from hard rock and post-hardcore to metalcore and is generally laced around memorable melodies most listeners can relate to. After some line-up changes with the Money brothers departing and guitarist Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft joining the band, Escape The Fate are all set to release their fifth studio album ‘Hate Me’ under Eleven Seven Music on October 30. The album has been produced by Howard Benson, a Grammy-nominated producer best known for his work with the likes of Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance and pop star Kelly Clarkson.
The first song on the album “Just a Memory” sets the mood for the rest of the record with its aggressive essence in the up-tempo catchiness and metalcore elements. The song also features a wonderful solo by Gruft. The vocals are memorable and well-balanced and are quite diverse, featuring both clean melodic renditions and fierce screams. This is followed by “Live For Today” which brings in a welcome change with its slower pace and very musical guitar work. The song has a somewhat nu-metal approach and features some well-composed synthesizer in the chorus.
“Remember Every Scar” and “Breaking Me Down” are the most thought-provoking songs on the album; the former laces around the theme of remembering things gone wrong as experiences which have brought one wherever they stand today. The song has a pop-rock drive and showcases a creative chorus featuring symphonic instruments. The latter consists of very soulful and emotive instrumentation and vocals. “Alive” features some of the best riffs on the album and discharges energy and heaviness throughout in the powerful grooves and vocals, a meaty intro and a wonderful guitar solo. “Get Up, Get Out” too comprises of a well-composed intro. However, there seems to be some lack of balance in parts of the song in terms of transitions.
The title track “Hate Me” is a brilliant blend of a slew of influences like hard rock, alt-rock and nu-metal, while “Les Enfants Terribles” has a great groove and synthesizers with a somewhat industrial approach. The band explores other dimensions in “I Won’t Break” which features a beautiful synth-laden intro, backing vocals, hard-hitting lyrics and a catchy chorus. “Let Me Be” provides a perfect finish to the album which starts off with acoustic guitar and then showcases a wonderful build-up.
What really stands out in the album are the brilliant vocals – both clean and harsh – and the refreshing new guitar sound. Escape The Fate have surely proceeded towards a new musical direction in ‘Hate Me’ with the songs being memorable not only in terms of the musical arrangement, meaningful songwriting and certain surprising elements, but also in terms of the overall attitude of the record.