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Chicago-based punk rockers Rise Against released their seventh album “The Black Market” on July 15th. Although this album feels slightly similar to their Billboard-charting 2011 album “Endgame,” full of driving force, it’s not quite as furious, but rather more introspective. Below is FDRMX’s track-by-track review of “The Black Market.”
1. The opener “The Great Die-Off” sets the troubled tone of this album, with a furious melody to which frontman Tim McIlrath takes on his inner demons.
2. “I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore” rushes in as McIlrath continues to battle personal demons, full of genuine, earthly anxiety apparent in lyrics such as, “On pins and needles, we are waiting for the fall.”
3. “Tragedy + Time” is the anthem track on “The Black Market.” This particular malaise tortuously deals with feeling emotionally alone, but the arrangement of the song perks your ears up and pulls you in.
4. The fourth song on the album is the title track, “The Black Market” stars with punctuated hits under McIlrath’s hollered vocals. A chugging rhythm continues on “I just want to let you know / I’m falling on my knees right now / I’m covered in the mess I made / These colors used to wash right out.”
5. Hit song “The Eco-Terrorist in Me” is one of the more notable tracks on the album, likely due to McIlrath employing his trademark screaming. Here the rhythm guitar of Zach Blair (and Rise Against has gone through several in the past twelve years) impressively draws the song together, making it fly with furious strength and force.
6. “Sudden Life” pertains to new age contemplations, however lyrics such as “Feels like I’m walking into the light” tend to detract as they sound tired and bored.
7. “A Beautiful Indifference” is instantly memorable as a forceful upbeat song full of wrath, and chanted “oh-oh-woah”s make you want to, well, rise against.
8. McIlrath’s wails in the introduction of “Methadone” will make your eyes mist.
9. “Zero Visibility” is a boisterous, unruly burst of obstinate spirit, and as the song name suggest, address insecurities and self esteem issues.
10. “Awake Too Long” chugs along in a timely manner, while McIlrath returns to Rise Against’s favorite scapegoat (politicians and world leaders): “Never once did leaders apologize for battles they began.” The lack of inspiration is also present in the un-catchy hooks of this particular song.
11. On the other hand, the soft, acoustic arrangement of “People Live Here” is gushing with sincere emotional lamentations, such as “Do you cry my name in the dark like I cry yours?” The passion is audible here.
12. “Bridges” describes the dissipation of a relationship with the clever use of metaphors as it rushes along. “We built the bridges / We now sleep under / We frame the door ways / We may not pass through.”