Escape The Fate

This War Is Ours

Written by: TL on 25/10/2008 18:37:04

Even after creating a substantial amount of commotion when they dropped their debut "Dying Is Your Latest Fashion" on us back in 2006, expectations for their new album didn't skyrocket till Escape The Fate replaced their imprisoned ex-singer Ronnie Radke with Craig Mabbitt of Blessthefall fame. Fans fearing that Mabbitt's new endeavour would be a failure compared to the somewhat heavier BTF can rest assured feel safe, because while Escape The Fate still aren't as beefy in sound, their first album with Craig is pretty fuckin' awesome.

For eleven tracks straight, ETF deliver a full on blow of what you might call partycore, pop metal or maybe just rock opera extravaganza. Me, I call it great. Guitarist Max Green really steps into the spotlight compared to "Dying Is Your Latest Fashion", by dishing out riff after riff laden with ridiculously infectious quality. The tracks are as pompous as My Chemical Romance's material, and it seems that Green shares Ray Toro's fascination with Brian May solos, seeing how similar ones are riddled all over the disc. As for the form, in reality the songs are as poppy as they come; a fact the band displays their awareness off through the cheeky attitude of Mabbitt's vocals, well over the top as they are. For most of the songs, the band seem content writing pop anthems with rock'n'roll attitude, most clearly exemplified in "Ashley", a song that seems like a slice of a summer night and should go down especially well with any Lostprophets fan.

The highlights of the album, however, are found in the tracks where Escape The Fate deviate from their chosen style. First and foremost it's "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Pt 2)" that steals your attention, featuring the band at it heaviest, all guns blazing, aiming for a front line song of Iron Maiden-esque proportions. They may fall somewhat short of mighty Maiden, but the track is kick ass nonetheless. The other occasion on which you might feel your mind getting stuck is in the closing track "It's Just Me", where Mabbitt really works his magic on top of a song that can best be described as the sound of a circus after dark - think The Used's "Paralyzed" here and you're not far off.

The downside of the album is similar to that of its predecessor, namely that Escape The Fate, as chorus-oriented as they are, must learn to write more believable choruses. Even in accepting that this is not a very serious bunch of rock songs, you still have quite a bit of cheese to swallow before you're ready to party down and dirty with this band. Mabbitt does his part to keep things interesting with a performance varied enough to belie his technically limited abilities, but you're still going to experience a moment or two where you wish they'd have used just a little more of the aggression and guitar-wizardry(wankery?) of the title track in the other songs. Despite these complaints though, "This War Is Ours" is an album that's delightfully careless, consistent, attitude-filled and flat out fun to listen to, and should Escape The Fate make it really big, I'll be among the first to welcome this relatively gimmick-free take on My Chem-size pop/rock.

8

Download: This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Pt. 2), It's Just Me, Ashley
For The Fans Of: My Chemical Romance, Lostprophets, The Blackout, Atreyu
Listen: myspace.com/escapethefate

Release Date 21.10.2008
Epitaph Records

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