Escape the Fate have had a tumultuous career starting with the controversial departure of now Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke. When replacement singer Craig Mabbitt was announced, fan wars erupted. The band made great haste into making their sophomore album, This War Is Ours, resulting in a hard rock album with softer undertones. The band made their major label debut under Interscope Records, releasing a self-titled album oozing with maturity and success. Songs like “Issues” and “Gorgeous Nightmare” advanced the band from “underground Warped Tour artists” to mainstream rock radio hits. Behind the scenes, however, tensions between band members rose, causing the departure of bassist Max Green and the adding of members TJ Bell and Michael Money. And that’s only the condensed version!
Since Green’s departure, fans have been eager to hear what would come next for the band. Some even began to worry that this would be the end of group with so much potential. ETF has alleviated those worries by releasing their latest single, “Ungrateful”.
The song itself is a 50/50 track for me. The song has much more raspy screaming than anticipated – to the point it’s almost incoherent. While it does express the deep emotions felt with violence and bullying, without being able to completely hear the lyrics, the message may not sink in as deep as it should. On the other hand, Mabbitt brings out much more mature, clean vocals in the song’s hook – which is sure to stick in your head after one listen. With the additional guitarist, the instrumentals sound much more mature, bring much-needed wholeness to their sound.
The video itself will pull at any viewer’s heartstrings. The band has added to the long list of musicians and celebrities that have tackled the issue of bullying and violence through their craft. Not only does it show the victim’s fear and anxiousness while attending school (think Rise Against’s “September’s Children”), it accurately portrays what may be the other side of the story – domestic violence in the bully’s home and the ever-continuing chain of pain. It ends with a powerful message that needs to be made much more public – “Violence is a vicious cycle that has ended many lives,” Images of some of the most-publicized suicides and deaths caused by bullying then pass by in remembrance, “End the cycle now.”
It is a video that truly everyone in the American public should see. However, due to the nature of the song, it may lack mainstream appeal. Only time will tell if this is an accurate indicator of Escape the Fate’s new music.
Escape the Fate will be touring with Papa Roach this spring – with many more dates to be added. Escape The Fate’s fourth album, “Ungrateful” will be released on May 14th under Eleven Seven Records.
If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, bullying, domestic violence, or other mental health issues, seek help. Don’t suffer in silence. You are never alone.