2014 marks a brand new chapter for Chicago punk-rockers Rise Against with the release of highly-anticipated record The Black Market. Having sold four million albums worldwide, with 2011’s Endgame debuting at number one in Germany and Canada, Rise Against have become one of the most revered punk bands on the globe. Known for high energy, searing and powerful rock tunes, the band also holds the flag of support for a number of animal rights groups, climate change organizations and are all strict vegetarians themselves, adhering to the idea of music as a vehicle for change.
Recorded in early 2014 The Black Market was put together in a manner similar to previous albums, under the direction of longtime producers Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore. This time around though something is different. The Black Market is a maturation of the Rise Against sound, incorporating everything that got us listening in the first place, and more. From album opener the Great Die-Off to closer Bridges, The Black Market is full of scalding guitars, thrashy drums and that heart on your sleeve style of singing vocalist Tim McIlrath does so well.
The album encompasses all things melodic, and isn’t afraid to alter dynamics whenever it feels. Great examples of this are title track The Black Market and Sudden Life. The former showcases a thought provoking arrangement and is executed flawlessly, while Sudden Life plays host to a huge chorus and some impressive use of the guitar. This musical progression is heard best in acoustic number People Live Here. Accompanying an acoustic guitar and sweeping strings, McIlrath really lets this fly on this one and his vocals shine. It’s a solemn tune, but one of the strongest in the record.
Throughout, The Black Market is unapologetic and unashamedly honest. It is raw, in your face and confronting. Rise Against have put out a statement here. The record is not only a glimpse into their view of the world and a call for change, it is also a record that could see Rise Against firmly establish themselves as one of the most esteemed acts around today. Go and check it out.