Album review: Escape the Fate battles through changes to stay sharp on ‘Hate Me’

Annie Zaleski

Three and a half stars

Escape the Fate Hate Me

In the two and a half years since Escape the Fate released its last album, the band’s lineup has experienced sizeable turbulence: Original bassist Max Green rejoined and then subsequently left the band, while guitarists/brothers Monte and Michael Money also departed, leaving drummer Robert Ortiz as the lone original member of the Vegas-birthed group.

Still, Escape the Fate hasn’t missed a beat with Hate Me, studio album No. 5. The band utilizes its recent unrest as lyrical fuel: Multiple songs center around emerging stronger after weathering adversity (or shedding backstabbing ex-friends), or discuss using pain as a motivator to stay focused on future better days. With producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, P.O.D.) at the helm, Hate Me also features some of the band’s most accessible (and radio-friendly) music yet. There’s the Linkin Park-reminiscent title track; the acoustic-based, Top 40 pop grab “Let Me Be”; and the pop-punk-tinged “Remember Every Scar.”

That doesn’t mean Escape the Fate has gone soft. On the dramatic metalcore attack “Just a Memory,” frontman Craig Mabbitt snarls, “How did I let you stab me in the back?” and “Trusting you was a f*cking mistake,” while on the goth-grooving, Marilyn Manson-esque “I Won’t Break” he sneers, “You’re still a joke, a hypocrite, you are a fake.” Things get even heavier on “Les Enfants Terribles,” which combines thrashing, metallic guitar curls with growling gang vocals and occasional spooky electronic programming. Escape the Fate’s thirst for vengeance is all the more effective because it’s nuanced, which keeps Hate Me from dissolving into one-dimensional rage.

Escape the Fate with A Skylit Drive, Sworn In, Sirens & Sailors, Myka, Relocate. November 12, 6:30 p.m., $17-$19. Vinyl, 702-693-5000.

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