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The Black Market

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As pointed as Rise Against's critiques of government malfeasance and social injustice have been, the seventh studio album from the Chicago hardcore-punk stalwarts finds them in new mode: introspection. "I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore" isn't about expatriation; it's about ending a relationship. "All that matters is the time we had/Doesn't matter how it all went bad," sings Tim McIlrath on "Tragedy + Time." Soul-searching lyrics aside, this is still a Rise Against album, full of whiplash-inducing fury. "The Eco-Terrorist in Me" is an anthem played at breakneck speed, and "Sudden Life" approaches Foo Fighters territory with its midtempo chorus. With its acoustic guitars, strings, and trenchant vocals, "People Live Here" is a rousing protest song that exemplifies The Black Market's mix of caustic contemplation.

Customer Reviews

An honest review of The Black Market

Having listened to this album a number of times now, I can give what I believe is an honest opinion of a long-standing Rise Against fan. I became a fan the year that The Sufferer And The Witness was released, but I compulsively listen to RA’s music, both new and old. Keep in mind that the ratings out of 10 are in relation to the songs on this album only.

01. The Great Die-Off: (8.5/10) Strong opening track. Nothing close to the likes of Chamber the Cartridge, Alive And Well or State of the Union, but it gets the job done. Definitely beats out Architects. One of the standout tracks in my opinion.

02. I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore: (7/10) Contrary to a lot of older RA fans seem to say, I actually really like this track. There are just come parts of it that feel a little uninspired, and some of the lyrics are a little too cliché. Been on repeat since it was released though, so that says something. Very strong choice for a lead single.

03. Tragedy + Time: (6/10) Holy mother that chorus is catchy. Like wow. This track stood out because I never expected Rise Against to write anything like it. It is very reminiscent of pop rock/punk instead of the hardcore side of punk we are used to from RA. The beginning had me wary, but that chorus just pulled me in like no other.

04. The Black Market: (5/10) The title track, and rightly so. These lyrics really reflect what Tim described what The Black Market was referring to. However, it did not stand out as much as I think a title track should. Side note: love the tempo changes in this song.

05. The Eco-Terrorist In Me: (9.5/10) This will be THE overwhelming favorite amongst Rise Against’s hardcore era fans. The song is everything you could want from Rise Against; fast, aggressive, and plenty of that iconic scream we love so much. Absolutely top-notch.

06. Sudden Life: (3.5/10) My least favorite track on the album. It was interesting because, like Tragedy + Time, it is a song I would never have expected Rise Against to write. However, this one just did not draw me in like I had hoped. Will probably grow on me as time goes on.

07. A Beautiful Indifference: (8/10) This is a great song. The chorus slams so hard, and there is some sick guitar work. In addition, that bridge is another moment where I went “whoa this is Rise Against?” I also love the outro “whoa” section. A lot of people aren’t into that, but I love singing along to that kind of thing.

08. Methadone: (5.5-6/10) I don’t actually know how I feel about this song yet. It has a certain kick to it, but it just feels too rocky to me. It is one of those songs that blends in nicely, but doesn’t stand that well on it’s own.

09. Zero Visibility: (9/10) What a sick song. This reminded me of the days of The Unravelling and Revolutions Per Minute, where weird guitar licks and solos were actually somewhat common. The slow tempo of the chorus makes it seem so ominous and huge, which I quite enjoy. Also… that scream. Let the chills commence.

10. Awake Too Long: (7.5/10) A true Rise Against adrenaline rocker. Not akin to the early days, but nevertheless a solid track to help hold the second half of the album to the same standard as the first half.

11. People Live Here: (8/10) First there
was Swing Life Away. Swing Life Away made you feel in a way you never imagined Rise Against would make you feel. THEN there was Hero Of War. Hero Of War made you feel in a way you never imagined ANY music could make you feel. I cannot say that this song can be compared to the two former, as it makes me feel a way I haven’t actually figured out how to describe yet. Not stronger than the others, just different.

12. Bridges: (7/10) The album closes as it began; strong, honest and true to what Rise Against wishes to be. I can’t say this track is one of the best ones on the album, but I can say that it does it’s job. I felt sad listening to this track because I knew the ride was about to end, and although (once again) Rise Against did not disappoint, I would always be left wanting more.

Being left wanting more can feel disappointing, especially when your expectations did not match the reality, but I rue the day that I am ever left not wanting more of Rise Against. To the people that complain about their sound changing, I want you to imagine being the same person for 15 years straight. Such is rare, and would undoubtedly be boring. As long as the guys in Rise Against are happy with what they are doing, I will continue to support them, because I never know when the ride may permanently be over; when the wish for more will never be answered.

Long live Rise Against.

Just as good as always.

Just as good as being just the same as always. For a few albums now, there hasn't been much song variety. I remember in some older albums, every song was unique. I could listen to a CD and think to myself, "Alright, this song's cool. Oh, so is this one. Whoa, this one has a cool thing here." Lately, they're all good, but if I just give the whole album a listen...the songs aren't as defined. If that makes sense.

Rise Against is back...

I've always been a huge RA fan, so I am definitely pumped that this album is coming out. To be honest, I was a little skeptical due to my high expectations, but I can already tell that it's going to be great. "The Eco- Terrorist In Me" is a great indicator that this won't exactly like Endgame, and I am loving the heavier side to it. Counting down the days until July 15th..


Formed: 1999 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Chicago's Rise Against began in 1999 when ex-88 Fingers Louie bassist Joe Principe tapped area vocalist Tim McIlrath for a new project rooted in the sound and social vision of traditional hardcore. Joined by fellow 88 Fingers vet Dan Precision on guitar and, eventually, drummer Brandon Barnes, Rise Against signed to Fat Wreck and issued The Unraveling in 2001. Precision left the band that same year to be replaced by Todd Mohney. Extensive touring followed, leading to their sophomore outing, 2002's...
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