Rise Against's "The Black Market" Doesn't Disappoint
Three weeks prior to the release of “The Black Market”, Rise Against released the lead single,
I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore, to mixed reception. Undoubtedly, there were a bunch of pissed off fans because although it can be applied to anything involving escape, it felt like after 15 years, Rise Against had finally lost the fire that has fueled them since day one.
Fortunately, the beautiful album opener that is The Great Die-Off sets those worries to rest. Armed with a serene, almost melancholic string opener, this furious track has Rise Against written all over it. With crashing drums, whirring guitars and a riff that leaves you wanting more – very State of the Union-esque.
More importantly, this opening track has a clearly political lyrical narrative – “A tide is coming to drown you out” – which should appease the hardcore fans.
The beauty of the album is that it has those songs to appeal to the long-time followers. Including the smack-you-right-in-the-face animal that is The Eco-Terrorist In Me, as well as the overly melodic Awake Too Long, but also has many songs which build upon the band’s more recent sound from “Appeal To Reason” onwards.
That said, two tracks stand out in particular. Zero Visibility is basically the Broken Mirrors of the new album; not only is it very un-Rise Against, but it wouldn’t even be considered a punk rock song by many listeners. Yet, the track is absolutely brimming with contrasting positive and negative energy and is easily one of the highlights of the album.
Considering the band seem to have finally found their sound and are growing on this sound with each album, tracks like Zero Visibility and “Endgame’s” Broken Mirrors show they have another direction that they could readily pursue, given the appropriate timing – which is very reassuring.
The other standout track is People Live Here. The obligatory stripped-back song (another thing which “Endgame” lacked), this is guaranteed to be an automatic fan favourite and mass sing along track which should be a sight to behold in a live setting.
Finally, notable mention has to go to Tim’s vocals throughout the album. Tim’s voice is so fucking raw from start to finish and I absolutely love it, as will any other Rise Against fan. Complimenting this is the clean yet somehow aggressive sound of the rhythm guitar, not to mention Joe’s ever-underrated bass licks.
With each listen of “The Black Market”, it becomes clear that Rise Against have succeeded in hitting the all-important sweet spot between going back to their roots and showing that they can do something new; the album isn’t a completely different isolated work of art, nor is it simply a re-write of past material.
Written by Blaine Marshall