With more than 15 years of experience already under their belts, Rise Against return full throttle with their latest album. Mere seconds in and the drums and guitars of ‘The Great Die-Off’ help to create a fist thumping start. Always favourites at live events and festivals, ‘I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore’ almost urges listeners to scream back its chorus, before there comes an almost surprising inclusion in the shape of ‘Tragedy & Time’ – a number far poppier than much of their earlier material.
Front-man Tim’s screaming vocals on ‘The Eco Terrorist In Me’ serve as a brilliant reminder of just why he and his bandmates are so recognisable, but it is ‘Suddenly Life’ that truly makes the album great. Blending musicianship and lyrical ability in almost perfect harmony, it becomes four minutes of musical greatness. RA have always been a band proud to be different, and no better does this come across than on ‘Zero Visibility’ – the pace is much slower, the vocals clearer – it is the one track anyone should be able to learn the words to.
While that track gives everyone the chance to catch their breath again, it doesn’t take long before the frenetic pace is back. Thrashing guitars and pounding drums take centre stage for ‘Awake Too Long’ before, as an almost surprising inclusion, the first and only acoustic style number of the album appears. ‘People Live Here’ is beautiful in its simplicity, and it needs no more than that to make it work. In closing with ‘Bridges’, the band once again return to their rocky roots, delivering a piece that works as a suitable, if not great, end to another chapter of their lengthy careers.