Thursday, March 15, 2012

Escape the Fate - This War is Ours

Escape the Fate released This War is Ours in the fall of 2008. There are so many mixed views that there isn’t much of a “majority opinion”. Although this isn’t a big issue in my opinion, the biggest reason why this is Escape the Fate’s most talked about album is because of the addition of Craig to replace the (at the time) recently imprisoned Ronnie. I honestly don’t really think much of the matter because that kind of shit happens all the time, I’m not even kidding. You just don’t hear about it because bands usually do a better job of keeping it out of the mainstream public eye. But the fact that ETF has had the eyes of the mainstream alternative music community LOCKED on them since the 2006 Vans Warped Tour has made it virtually impossible to have that go unnoticed. Another reason why this album has caused so much controversy is because of the dramatic (and often over exaggerated) change in musical style.

Probably what everyone knows about Craig is that he was the former vocalist for the screamo band blessthefall, only appearing on one of their EPs and their debut full-length. At first, I thought that he wasn’t a good fit for ETF and should go back to blessthefall…until I heard the vocalist that replaced him. In fact, I’ve actually come to really like his voice in the newer ETF music, I just don’t think his voice is rough and gritty enough for the material off Dying is your Latest Fashion. The biggest change that ETF has made in their musical style is having more of a rock-oriented sound as well as sounding a little less angry and heavy. This is actually partly because the guitar distortion is much, much smoother than in their debut, which had a very crunchy, dirty sound. As well as that, there’s much less screaming and next to no growling.

I’m almost completely convinced that the first track off the album was written when Ronnie was in the band, because it sounds like something that would have come off Dying is your Latest Fashion. The overall song is very enjoyable, but the poppy-sounding guitar solos don’t fit the rest of the music at all. Not only that, Craig’s voice doesn’t really give the song that really edgy feeling that Ronnie’s does; but that’s just because his voice doesn’t fit the sound of the song. This is the same case as Nightwish and their switch from Tarja and Anette; both have amazing voices, but Anette’s voice doesn’t sound good with the older songs, and Tarja’s voice definitely wouldn’t sound very fitting in their newer material.

After the first song, the album goes in a completely different direction; so I wouldn’t have the first track in the beginning because it gives you the wrong impression. I would instead put it at the end as a little surprise for the fans of the first album. The hit single off this album, Something, is actually a really cool song. Although it sounds like a completely different band, I still really like it. This is where Craig’s voice sounds best; but because it’s a “hit” single and it sounds so drastically different from the ETF that many remember, there’s a lot of people that hate it. The one thing about this track that sort of bothers me is that the song structure is a little TOO generic and simple. Although that might be hypocritical of me because one of my favorite bands is Breaking Benjamin, who sticks to the more basic song structures most of the time. I guess because the interlude of Something is really lacking…everything, when the song ends, I feel like I missed something, like the song doesn’t leave me completely satisfied; which is probably why people like to listen to it OVER and OVER. The Flood really has a rock-based screamo sound, which has already been done by tons of other bands; so I would expect something more out of a band of this status (which I’m starting to think is greatly undeserved).

Let it Go is actually one of my favorites off this album (which is ironic because this is the most disliked track from this record). But yet again, I feel that this song didn’t give me enough satisfaction. I’m not saying there’s anything that I DON’T like about it, it’s just that I don’t find it impressive and satisfying enough. 10 Miles Wide is my favorite song off the record, why? BECAUSE IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD AND SATISFYING! This is a song that I’ve never gotten tired of and that gets me pumped up with all the rock ‘n roll energy it has. Also, it has the really rough and edge voice of Josh Todd from Buckcherry, a hard rock band I’ve been listening to for I don’t know how the hell long…a LONG time. Even if you HATE Escape the Fate, if you like some of the more hard rock sounding stuff, I would definitely look this song up! WARNING: the music video is stupid and unattractive, so if you listen to the music video, I would just play it and NOT WATCH IT.

Honestly, this album is average. It has a few faults and some good things; the highlight of the whole album being the ninth track, 10 Miles Wide, which features vocals (singing and screaming) from Buckcherry vocalist Josh Todd. I almost never really listen to this album due to the dissatisfied feeling it leaves me (which is actually the same case with all the albums ETF has released). Although I would recommend that you look it up because there are a lot of people out there that LOVE it, it’s just not what I would say is easily enjoyable and worth my money. But look up that one song because it’s something that I even play over and over (when I get around to the rare occasion of listening to it). I would give this album 9/20.