Rise Against - The Black Market (Cover Artwork)

Rise Against

The Black Market (2014)

DGC, Interscope

The Black Market is a rock album with punk influence. Rise Against have left their punk days behind in favor of a new sound. 'The Eco-Terrorist In Me' is the most hardcore song on the album, meaning it will be the favorite of many looking for more classic Rise Against. On the other side of the spectrum we've got pop-punk track 'Tragedy + Time' and the pop-rock song 'Sudden Life'. Otherwise, we've got more of the rock and blues-influence from Endgame filling the rest of the album.

This album has its moments. The undeniably catchy chorus of 'The Great Die Off', the refreshing bridge of 'A Beautiful Indifference', and the bluesy instrumentation of 'The Black Market' are a few. The consistently interesting vocal hooks of Awake Too Long make it a standout track, along with the acoustic ballad 'People Live Here'. 'People Live Here' is noticeably different from Rise Against's previous acoustics, sounding like a dark folk song. However it has the powerful lyrics and intimate feel that we've come to expect from Tim's standout acoustic songs.

The surprise hit from this album is Methadone. A slower song that Rise Against manages to nail, the chorus will leave many with frisson running through them. The song style is something different for Rise Against and it plays out very well. These days Tim's voice does not convey the energy of the band and the songs easily become bland. With Tim's new 'bored' singing style, we need more well done soft songs such as Methadone. Perhaps Rise Against will explore the style for their next release.

The Black Market is a refined Endgame with some experimentation of other styles. Rise Against is not reliving their prime any time soon, but I can't help missing Tim's old vocal style. The lack of intense passion being conveyed to the listener is the biggest thing plaguing Rise Against's recent albums. There are still great moments in Rise Against's rock style, but they don't compare to what they were in their prime.