Rise Against
The Black Market


2.5
average

Review

by Mike Denison USER (21 Reviews)
July 25th, 2014 | 36 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Awake too long.

Rise Against has made a living on solid songwriting and massive hooks that consistently elevated what should have been mediocre albums. Endgame was the first sign that Rise Against might be starting to run out of gas -- songs ran together and were easily forgotten. Yet there were a few oft-forgotten gems where all the pieces fit together like they used to. There was hope in "Architects," "Survivor Guilt" and the passionate cries therein, hamfisted as they may be. (But really -- who expected a band named Rise Against to be subtle?)

The Black Market, unfortunately, is another step back. All the edges have been smoothed out of their riffy alt-punk, leaving it with basically no character except Tim McIlrath's raspy vocals. The "political" songs have less bite, and the "personal" songs (a la "Savior" and "Roadside") have less heart. McIlrath's exhaustion with playing revolutionary, as expressed in the diamonds in the rough "I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore" and "Awake Too Long," would have been a poignant choice of theme -- if only they led to any real introspection instead of vague platitudes.

Speaking of platitudes, there are plenty of those on here -- as heard in the plodding "Sudden Life," the hooky but saccharine title track, the dreadful "A Beautiful Indifference"...actually, let's take a look at that one.

Because there is hate and there is love and there is loss
But there is right and there is wrong and there is us
We're falling until we learn to stand up and just to walk away


Pathetic. And yet, I can imagine RA a few years ago making me take those words to heart, somehow. Appeal to Reason and The Sufferer & The Witness weren't good albums because of masterful lyrics or dazzling musicianship. They were masterworks in executing simple concepts well. But without McIlrath sounding like he cares at all, the lazy songwriting here has nothing to hide behind.

Oh sure, there are a few intense tracks that recall earlier reincarnations -- "The Eco-Terrorist in Me" is about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it's oh so nice to hear McIlrath scream again; "Awake Too Long" and its energetic chorus would have fit well on Appeal to Reason. But then there's "People Live Here," the token 'ballad' that fails to evoke any real emotion, and the pedestrian closer "Bridges," and suddenly the good work is undone.

What little grace The Black Market has lies in its hooks. In the right mood, a chorus will click and a riff will briefly rise above the sloppy overproduction and resonate. But those moments are too few and far between, damning a once-proud band to mediocrity.



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user ratings (326)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    A hodgepodge of varied tracks that will not wholly alienate or please most respective segm...

    Green Baron (3.5)
    Rise Against have been damned. They have survived. The main question still looms, however ...

    Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
    Rise again....

    Alex Dansereau (4)
    Chicago’s (other) mainstream punks regain their enthusiasm and a fair amount of energy....

  • AbidingRADude (4.5)
    Rise Against's seventh album is an unexpected departure for them, but the new bag of trick...

    overdriveisclassy (3.5)
    Endgame 2.0 with a few surprises mixed in that you will either love or hate....

    Peter K. Mark (3)
    An overall pleasant album, but one that still falls short of Rise Against's earlier materi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ProjectFreak
July 24th 2014


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was thisclose to giving this a 2, but then I had to compare it to my last 2 (La Gargola) and I realized this was at least
somewhat better

majorly disappointed with this

fromtheinside
July 24th 2014


18363 Comments


those rec's holy mother of god

bahahaha at your comment

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

ProjectFreak
July 24th 2014


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

double post

ProjectFreak
July 24th 2014


1373 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wish those recs weren't so appropriate

BMDrummer
July 25th 2014


7803 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

disappointed by this still, and I actually liked Endgame

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

unaMUSEd
July 25th 2014


1079 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Endgame is better than this.

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

PorcelainRain
July 25th 2014


537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well guys we still can go back and listen to the first 4/5 albums!

Killerhit
July 25th 2014


5250 Comments


The grooves in the title track, i love 'em

though i do agree people live here has a indie vibe i don't really dig

in spite of the really good lyrics on people live here

PorcelainRain
July 25th 2014


537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's just a guitar song jeez

Killerhit
July 25th 2014


5250 Comments


your point being

Artuma
July 25th 2014


13505 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

ugh guys terrible thread let's go jam unraveling

good rev tho

Digging: Indian Summer - Science 1994

Killerhit
July 25th 2014


5250 Comments


shit was jamming everchanging today, artuma

r u a mind reader

fromtheinside
July 25th 2014


18363 Comments


i still haven't made it through this album yet. haven't even jammed the one everyone loves - "eco-whatever"

Killerhit
July 25th 2014


5250 Comments


it's not bad

it's no, you know, siren song, or appeal to reason

Artuma
July 25th 2014


13505 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

@killerhit that's a sweet jam dude :D i just know that all the good guys will always jam unraveling instead of this pile of shit

fromtheinside
July 25th 2014


18363 Comments


the song. or album cause i'm already VERY aware this is no appeal let alone SS

Killerhit
July 25th 2014


5250 Comments


yeeeeee

well album

Futures
July 25th 2014


11185 Comments


art if you think the unraveling is rise against's best i can't take you seriously anymore

Digging: Gerard Way - Hesitant Alien

Artuma
July 25th 2014


13505 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

of course i don't think it's their best, it's just their most overlooked

Funeralopolis
July 25th 2014


11414 Comments


unraveling is their 2nd worst

Digging: Black Milk - No Poison No Paradise



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