With a career history seeped in twice the drama of any of the most melodramatic soap operas you could name, Escape The Fate seem a rather more composed outfit of late. Line-up shifts and inter band feuds banished, it would not be unfair to assume that a new found sharpening of songwriting potency and perhaps a certain widening of scope would follow. Unfortunately, the Nevada quintet opt to shun ideas yet again as ‘Ungrateful’ continues to push the same tediously juvenile metalcore as is their trademark.
Attempting to lunge immediately for the throat, the opening title-track serves up regurgitated breakdowns and plodding rhythms ad nauseum, any aggression somewhat lost in the banality of the musicianship which is indeed a facet which proves to plague the record throughout. Songs such as ‘Until We Die’ and a terminally drab ‘You’re Insane’ convey riff work which we would presume a sixth form metal band to reject, whereas some wince inducing lyrical embarrassments and a faux Motley Crue aesthetic makes for a listen which would have had to have been released several years back to generate an ounce of excitement.
Perhaps the spurious posturing and adherence to modern cliches could be pardoned if it proved to yield any movement, but what’s so unforgivable about ‘Ungrateful’ is that it’s unreservedly dull. Box ticking ballad ‘Picture Perfect’ is a syrupy drudge through phony sentiment, ‘Desire’ is a by numbers radio rock stomper and ‘Chemical Love’ plays out with barely a hook in sight.
Although fans will no doubt stampede to acquire the album post haste, it’s a shame that songs such as these are deemed good enough to provoke any kind of response. Worn out and void of any evidence of progression, ‘Ungrateful’ pedals a sound that is utterly spent and wholly unimaginative, yet is confusingly primed to be lapped up by the truckload.
Written by Tony Bliss