Like many successful bands, Escape the Fate have experienced their share of negativity during their career. They are using that as fuel for their latest album Hate Me.

Frontman Craig Mabbitt says, “Lyrically, a lot of these tracks are based around the hate we’ve received over the years and just embracing that and using it to our own advantage.”

Since their 2013 album Ungrateful was released, the band has seen some lineup changes. The Money brothers have departed, and guitarist Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft has joined the fold. TJ Bell, who played bass on the last album, handles the duties again on Hate Me along with rhythm guitar, which he’ll be playing during live shows.

Another change for this album is the addition of producer Howard Benson. The Grammy nominee has worked on successful records in numerous genres, from pop star Kelly Clarkson to rockers like Halestorm and Skillet.

Escape the Fate’s music has been labeled as metalcore, post hardcore and hard rock, and it contains elements of all of those. The secret to their success is creating strong melodies and songs that connect with their audience. There are a lot of accessible tracks on the album that will have radio appeal such as the memorable “Live for Today” and “Remember Every Scar,” the record’s catchiest song.

While most of the album is polished and radio friendly, there are harder edged moments as well. Album opener “Just a Memory” features some harsh vocals from Mabbitt, as does “Les Enfants Terribles (The Terrible Children),” the most ‘core song on Hate Me.

Gruft is a positive addition to the lineup. He participated in the songwriting process and his performance on guitar is excellent. From acoustic parts like on the album closer “Let Me Be” to creative solos to rock solid riffs, his presence has elevated the band’s performance.

Escape the Fate came to the table with around 50 songs this time around, and the ten that made the cut on the standard edition of Hate Me are razor-sharp and diverse, with a few that should become staples of their live show. Whatever outside noise and inner turmoil the band has experienced, they’ve channeled it into one of the strongest albums of their career.