Rise Against Black Market Album Review
Rise Against is a rare band that’s proven an ability to transcend multiple rock genres. They cut their teeth as a punk band, are hugely popular with hardcore fans and have a dominant position on active rock playlists.
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In July, these socially conscious Chicago rockers dropped their seventh album, and their first offering in three years. On Black Market, we still hear much of the sound their fervent fans have come to enjoy, mixed in with a few new twists, primarily to a more mainstream sound. Listening to the lyrics, there’s also a more prominent focus on relationships, with fewer songs about social and political issues.
The album kicks off with an interesting twist. “The Great Die Off” begins with a beautiful string arrangement; a placid and relaxing start to the album, but it is oh so brief, before it evolves into a violent explosion of rock ‘n roll. Beautiful! This diverse social commentary with violent themes is a great start to The Black Market, and just might be the best track on the album.
The first single off of the album, “I don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore” is a gritty rocker that is absolutely everywhere on rock radio. It’s a crossover song that fits into just about every rock ‘n roll genre and is destined to be on many year-end Best Of lists. The song, about a relationship nearing its demise, kick starts with ferocious drums from Brandon Barnes, who plays a prominent role throughout The Black Market.
“Tragedy and Time” is another good example of the more mainstream slant that is pervasive on the album. The song has good harmonies and nice melodies – like so many other pop rock tunes. Decent stuff, but I’d be curious to see whether it is embraced by longtime fans of the band?
The album does feature a few cuts that will certainly appeal to Rise Against’s passionate hardcore fan base. “The Eco-tourist In Me” thankfully jettisons them back to their hardcore punk past. It’s fast, it’s aggressive, and it’s a cry for action – a familiar and fitting combination for the band. “A Beautiful Indifference” is a thrasher cut from the same cloth. Good stuff!
The most intriguing cut on the album is “Sudden Life,” a hopeful song which is masterfully produced. It features Tim McIlrath at his most vulnerable and the vocals are tremendous. The lyrics are intelligent and provoking on this track and throughout the album, a longtime trait for Rise Against.
All told, I loved about half of the album, but was lukewarm towards the rest. If you haven’t purchased the album yet it, grab it below and let us know your thoughts?