In a year that will see the final run of Warped Tour, many bands that have taken that stage are bringing their all to their new releases. Warped veterans such as Senses Fail and Of Mice & Men have released solid albums and just last week, Blessthefall blessed us with Hard Feelings(Rise)—one of their best records yet.
This week is Escape The Fate’s turn. No stranger to the punk rock summer camp, the Las Vegas natives bring you I Am Human (Better Noise/Eleven Seven) — the sixth release since forming in 2005. We’ve seen the band go through lineup changes and different experiments with their sound. Yet, this time, the sound that they cooked up is as generic as they come.
The album does start in the explosive Escape The Fate fashion with ‘Beautifully Tragic’. It has the typical anthem rock riffs with the generic emo lyrics. It’s catchy and engaging but nothing extraordinary. ‘Broken Heart‘ is for the real fans looking for the song to sing out loud at their show. Lead vocalist, Craig Mabbit really wants to show you how emo the band is trying to stay.
However, a very important thing to note with I Am Human is the incredible shredding Kevin “Trasher” Gruft does. ‘Four Letter Word’ holds some superb string qualities, the song showcasing riffs that intertwine throughout the song that can almost be compared to DragonForce and Avenged Sevenfold.
‘Bleed For Me’ is the emotional power ballad where the band tones it way down. But, they take it way up in ‘Do You Love Me?’. It’s one of the few tracks of the album that stands out. An infectious song with heavy bass lines and a gritty guitar that reminds fans of their heavier past. Again, Trasher’s work here is one of the highlights of the album. The title track carries unnecessary synthesizers that are the outcome of an over-produced track. That trend has worked for a lot of bands, but on this album is just blatantly inauthentic. The band delivers an acoustic set with ‘If Only’ where Mabbit sings his heart out but the song falls short. ‘Empire’, which was the lead single, comes pretty late in the album a song full of attitude but carries a melody that is conventionally the tone found throughout the album. Ultimately, they stay true to the Metalcore recipe with ‘Recipe for Disaster’. It’s heavy and one of the better tracks.
Harder edged moments come in ‘Riot’ and ‘Digging My Own Grave’, tracks that are pushed back towards the end of the fourteen-track album — if you can make it that far.
Escape The Fate continue to push out the type of metal/post-hardcore their audience can connect with. If you’ve been a fan, you’ll listen, bang your head and move on. If you’re not a fan of the band, I Am Human will not win you over and is as forgettable as this year’s Warped Tour lineup.