On the 16th of October, American rock quartet Escape the Fate released their latest single “Invincible” featuring Lindsey Stirling. The release marks the beginning of a new Era, as the band prepares for their newest album Chemical Warfare to come out. For the last decade, Escape the Fate have dedicated themselves to redefining heavy rock, and pushing the boundaries of mixing genres. With inspiration ranging from Marilyn Manson, to Eminem, to Iron Maiden, they are constantly fusing genres to create a sound they are proud of. Since their start in 2004, they have undergone a whirlwind of changes, their members constantly switching out for someone new. At first, the band was aligned with Ronnie Radke (lead vocalist of Falling in Reverse), until he was asked to leave the group in 2008, due to a two-year prison sentence.
The single also features Lindsey Stirling, who happens to be one of my favourite artists. She is an American violinist, songwriter, and dancer who found fame after appearing on America’s Got Talent. She specialises in mixing the classical and dubstep genres to create an entirely unique sound. She has worked with the likes of Lzzy Hale (from Halestorm), John Legend, and more. Speaking on the experience, Stirling said “I loved working with the guys! I originally started out by playing with rock bands, so this took me back to some fond memories.” She also commented that she has got to know each member and admires them “fighting through the darkness to find and choose the light.”
The song begins with a short intro, the instruments being thrown in almost as if you began the song halfway through. A short riff dominated by the guitar and drums, Stirling undercutting it with her own instrumental side of it. One thing that’s instantly clear is that Escape the Fate are bravely exploring a very new sound. While they have a history of being rather experimental, I can’t think of a song from their older albums that feels similar to this one. The electronic undercurrent of it is stronger, having applied more effects on the instrumentals and even the vocals. However, it works. The song is still heavily run by the drums and the vocals, the beat carrying it through, but I can still feel Lindsey Stirling’s influence in it. Vocalist Craig Mabbitt seems to be trying a more melodic approach, where he sings for the vast majority of the song. Compared to their previous music, the vocals seem to have a lighter feel to them. Not just the sound, but the lyrics. The repeated belting of “You’re Invincible” gives the song a fighting edge, a more optimistic undertone. However, the essence of their older music comes through at the end of the chorus, where Mabbitt screams a single line, before returning back to a rhythmic, melodic second verse. This all changes two minutes in. When a feminine voice sings two or three lines, the musical response is for the beat to drop. It’s heavy, intense, and something that is going to go absolutely mad when performed live. Drums hitting hard, riffs cutting through, Mabbitt using the vocals almost like an instrument. And, with the addition of Lindsey Stirling’s violins, it creates an epic atmosphere.
This single is like two sides of two very different coins coming together. Electronic dubstep and heavy rock/ screamo, mixing together to create something that works very well. The shift between melodic singing and screaming can be hard to master (especially when you throw violins into the mix), and you run the very real risk of subjecting your listeners to musical whiplash. But the transitions are done so well in this particular song that the mixing of the genres doesn’t feel as strange as it probably should. It feels natural, as if it were something that has always been done. My only possible complaint could be that I wish Lindsey Stirling had been showcased more evenly throughout the song, as she’s quite hard to hear during the first half (although, that could easily just be me being a fan of her music and wanting to hear more).
“Invincible” will feature on the soundtrack of horror/thriller movie The Retaliators, set to release in 2021. Due to the pandemic, Escape the Fate had to cancel this year’s tour. However, they hope to be back on the road as soon as possible. In the meantime, they will be holding a live-streamed, worldwide concert on the 20th of November, performing their greatest hits. Tickets are available on their website. “Invincible” is a promising start for their new album, and is a sign that Chemical Warfare is going to be another hit for the Escape the Fate.