The triumphs and tragedies of love affairs haven’t always been a prominent part of Rise Against’s lyrical content, but with their seventh full-length studio album, many things have changed. Lead vocalist and lyricist Tim McIlrath has kept the lyrics substantial and full of angry protests, but there is the odd track with overwhelming sentimental themes. In The Black Market the message against governments and the state of human existence has been altered from previously general lyrics to personal and specific ideas.
Despite the lyrical content, McIlrath’s vocals come across more moderately than usual and the lack of anger is rather surprising. Unfortunately the lack of emotion one would expect detracts somewhat from the meaning of the lyrics.
The harmonic composition has also changed noticeably. The melodies are decidedly more complex and the harmonies more dynamic, yet this seemingly experimental phase for the band is still pleasing to the ear. A lighter mood is present throughout the album, even in the more intense tracks.
With an explosive introduction, their new sound is present from the start and then progresses to the older sound of Rise Against that loyal fans would expect.
Overall, the album is a new kind of Rise Against with glimmers of their previous work. This might not be the best album for diehard fans but The Black Market could still be an opportunity for Rise Against to gain new fans.
Photo: Rise Against official website