Rise Against
The Black Market


3.0
good

Review

by humblerodent USER (29 Reviews)
July 18th, 2014 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A hodgepodge of varied tracks that will not wholly alienate or please most respective segments of Rise Against’s vast fan base.

In an interview leading up to the release of Rise Against’s latest album, lead singer Tim McIlrath was blunt about the band’s record-making process, stating in regards to what different fans expect, “There is no song for everybody.”

As a fairly dynamic band with both critical and commercial success that’s been around since just before the turn of century, this is an unsurprising problem. Since their inception, Rise Against has churned out albums ranging from gritty, hardcore punk to radio-friendly, anthemic rock, and everything in between. It’s easy to see how fans of their older work could feel alienated by their newer efforts, and certainly vice versa. The real question is how Rise Against would tackle the problem this time.

The first two tracks that were put out in the run-up to the release of “The Black Market” certainly seemed to point in a direction older fans would prefer. Lead single “I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore” is angry, impassioned, and in the vein of the band’s work as they made the transition from their punk-rock roots to the mainstream. The next leak, “The Eco-Terrorist In Me,” has a sound that goes even further into their back catalogue. McIlrath’s distinctive screams and a frenetic pace dominate the song to an extent that we haven’t heard from Rise Against since their 2004 album, “Siren Song of the Counter Culture.”

However, the older sound of these two pieces is scarcely found anywhere else on the rest of the record, the exception being the aggressive and politically motivated “The Great Die-Off.” Much more common are pieces that tread closer to digestible hard rock than anger-driven punk. “A Beautiful Indifference” flits back and forth between a grinding bass line and sing-along choruses to create a sound that, while inoffensive, certainly isn’t boring. Similarly, “Awake Too Long” balances fast-paced guitar and drums with a slower vocal tempo, and the result is a song that sounds like a more accessible version of “Prayer of the Refugee” from the band’s 2006 album, “The Sufferer and the Witness.”

And just like there are a few songs that favor Rise Against’s old tone, a handful of tracks that opt primarily for Rise Against’s newer sound are also present on the record. These are tepid efforts like the almost sugary “Tragedy+Time” and the un-inventive “Sudden Life” that lack bite and repeat themselves to the point of annoyance.

The only song that doesn’t fit into one of those three molds is the acoustic “People Live Here” that strains to capture the same heartbreaking feeling of fan-favorite “Swing Life Away” and just falls short.

Rise Against was right -- there is no song that will please all of the band’s fans. Neither will “The Black Market,” although there are tidbits that should satisfy each group. Pick your favorite ones and pass over the rest.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
humblerodent
July 18th 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Originally published by The Daily of the University of Washington: http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/07/16/arts-leisure/album-review-black-market#.U8mQEo1dVJ9



Pretty standard considering what I've to expect from Rise Against

Froot
July 18th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Slick review, yo.



The more I think about it, the more I feel it would be beneficial for the band to just abandon all hope of appealing to everyone within a single album. It just ends up feeling disjointed.

NordicMindset
July 18th 2014


25136 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i hope they go back to roots like they said earlier

Froot
July 18th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's funny how much Bad Religion influence there is on the first three albums.

NordicMindset
July 18th 2014


25136 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bad Religion pretty much influenced everybody

Froot
July 18th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know, but it's the little things that stick out to me, like how The Unravelling is layered and structured similarly to No Control.

humblerodent
July 19th 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Could not agree more (on both counts)

Glad you enjoyed the review

jsaf7
June 11th 2017


406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Surprised to see no mention of Zero Visibility, easily the best track on here ( at least for me)



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