Their absolute best work, this is Rise Against at their melodic hardcore best. Everything about this album stands out from the instruments to McIlrath's half-screamed half-crooned vocals and absolutely mesmerizing lyrics, there isn't a weak point to this entire album. "My Life Inside Your Heart" may be the best song RA ever wrote, as it refuses anything less than tearing into your heart and psyche. One of the best modern punk records, period.
The Unraveling is the first work by the now widely-known rock band Rise Against. Luckily for music fans, this album’s title is not at all an indicator of its quality. Here the listener can hear the beginnings of the Rise Against sound that has become rather popular in the punk world today. Alternating between melancholic and empowering, the message of “soldiering on” that Rise Against has popularized in its later works began with this album. This is also their hardest album; it has a sound much more akin to hardcore punk albums then it does to the pop/acoustic sounds of Swing Life Away.
The album covers a variety of topics, from love to the state of the world to religion. The stand-out song from the album, Gethsemane, is a perfect close to the album, with a catchy tune and very interpretable lyrics. (With arms raised to the stars begging them to listen…with scars cut from these olive branches…tonight we give in to temptation). Either a love song or a song about Jesus’ final betrayal, it’s up to the listener to decide.
Ultimately, the complex lyrics and catchy, pounding tunes of Rise Against have earned a wide following. Seeing where it all began and uncovering the inception just takes a little unraveling.
Recommended Tracks: Gethsemane, Everchanging, Stained Glass and Marble.