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Rise Against: Wolves

Okay, today it is time to get that Rise Against album that i’ve been mentioning for a bit reviewed for you. With The Black Market i was worried that the band was taking a bit of a step backwards in terms of creativity and were playing things too expected. On this album they do keep their typical sound but reinject that high dose of life that made prior albums so remarkable. I was actually impressed with this one when it came out and immediately saw it as a promo album that i have to get done for you guys. Stone Sour snagged that position as well and really upped their game on their new album Hydrograd.I’ll get that one done soon when i’m in the mindset for a lengthier album review. Let’s get this one started and see if it can dethrone Appeal to Reason for top Rise Against album on my blog.

Wolves: The album begins with the title track and seeks to start the album on a rather quick punk note. The opening vocals have a nice style of radio crackle and the guitars work with the quick drum beats to create a cheerful and energizing template for Tim to deliver some rather beautiful lyrics. The chorus is full of energy and the instrumentals do well to keep the energy going with a nice jam component; while still being mindful of taking moments to stretch out for the listener to remained well balanced. The solo is decent but a bit familiar; though the melodic texture of it helps to impress upon the listener that the band is going to be giving them a much more livelier album than their last one was. 8.5/10

House on Fire: This second track begins with more of those cheerfully energetic guitar instrumentals but fade off for a soothing bass/drum rhythm so that Tim can expertly recite his impacting lyrics. The chorus does well to impress a sense of urgency in the background without taking away the positive sound of the instrumentals. The more rhythmic approach of the instrumentals is a fresh approach for the band and really excels at supporting Tim’s vocals; while keeping a pleasant degree of energy going. Towards the end there is a very emotional breakdown that Tim uses to impress upon his listener the urgency in his lyrics. The instrumentals support it firmly during this segment and provide a smooth ending for this song so that is it quick; meaningful and memorable. Like i said before; It sounds like typical Rise Against but has that something extra that makes it stick out with more life than i was expecting. I’m mainly basing this off of their previous album before this since i was worried that they had peaked with that one. Luckily this album shows that with tough political times; they can find the right motivation to put out some powerful music. 8.5/10

The Violence (Single): So far this is the only single for the album and it opens with a simple guitar riff before the drums and bass enter to give it a very lively rhythm. It is going to be a nice live track that will get an audience up and dancing with ease. Tim’s vocal delivery continues to impress with his careful outpouring of emotion that refrains from sounding commercially forced. The backing vocals are a good touch that help to spice things up at times and prevent the instrumentals from losing their freshness. The guitars definitely take on a supporting jam role for this album verses previous ones; but the change up will do well to make this album stand out among their older fan base. The lyrics are going to be a strong focal point as this song progresses. 9/10

Welcome to the Breakdown: Soft yet quick guitars begin this one and join with some more dominating drum beats to develop a quick and raw jam instrumental. Tim with this raw support is equally raw himself but doesn’t sacrifice coherency  to deliver a more garage style track. He does lack a bit in the melody department but the chorus has enough catchiness to help the listener find something to appreciate in this song. The guitars provide a few interlude moments so that the song can refresh slightly and Tim can work the song’s intensity into some harder moments; where he treats you with a few near screams from himself. This one is a bit rougher in my opinion but it will be a good offering for their fans from day one. Other than that, this album is moving by pretty smoothly and we really haven’t even hit the cream of the crop with this album yet. 7.5/10

Far from Perfect: The guitars begin this one immediately on a happily energetic note that quickly brings elements of Social Distortion to mind. Definitely not a bad comparison in my opinion and makes me wonder when the latter band is going to put something new out. Tim’s vocal delivery is smooth and cheerfully blissful with a high degree of emotion pouring from his strong lyrics. The guitars and drums do a phenomenal job of pushing Tim’s voice to high levels during the chorus. It brings out a climatic feeling of urgency that will garner high praise from a live audience. It would actually make a strong case for being a single since it is radio friendly and has ballad qualities to it without appearing to look overly commercial. Tim tosses in a few neat growl vocals at times to spice things up; but the instrumentals are really what make it so that this song can do no wrong. The keys towards the end provide a surprisingly beautiful interlude so that Tim can deliver a few echoed verses before bringing his melodies back to close this song on a remarkably high note. This song is a pure sign that this band is back in business and ready to dominate the punk rock scene. 10/10

Bullshit: Now this song is a pure favorite and one that i hope becomes a single or gets a music video one day. We all know for sure that they didnt care about the commercial friendliness of this song ha ha! Guitar distortion enters to set up a raw opening before the guitar riffs clean up and the bass signals for the band to deliver some energizing moans. Tim sings over some rather groovy guitar riffs to deliver a high sense of swagger to the listener. His lyrics prove to be very impacting and the chorus will produce a high degree of catchy moments that will be impossible for the listener not to sing along to. The guest backing vocalist does sound unnecessary and forced to a good degree but that’s really the only drawback to this song. The live potential for this song is very high and will likely be an easy fan favorite for this album. I can’t say that i’ve ever heard of anyone that has made the sentence “This is Bullshit!” come off as beautiful and empowering as these guys ha ha. Towards the end of the song you really get sense of how much effort they put into these songs. That chorus is pretty hard not to fall in love with and is easily one of my highlight tracks on the album. 10/10

Politics of Love: The guitars begin with some blissful melody and more of that Social Distortion rhythm that is proving to be a nice hidden gem for this album’s sound. Tim pours some nice energy into his voice without making things pass by quickly and keeps a smoothly balanced pace till the chorus enters. The chorus focuses on urgency and Tim’s voice is perfect at getting that taking care without sounding jaded by any means. The lyrics are very straightforward and will be a good focal point to follow as the instrumentals keep a steady pace for their jam support. The drums stick out nicely in the background and have a good degree of force that sets up well for a strong solo to enter. This solo is a strong piece that breaks things up before the bass enters to rumble with the drums; and the whole band delivers some melodically echoed moans. This makes this song another strong point for the album that i’m sure will do well live. 9/10

Parts Per Million:  Guitars begin with a nice dose of high octane energy and the jam tone of them does well to open this song before fading off a bit for Tim to enter. His lyrics are decent and the vocals do a good job as a focal point and especially stand strong during the chorus. The instrumentals appear to take on a more basic approach with a stronger bass presence than on previous songs; but the back to basics approach will serve a understandable role in further emphasizing the lyrics in this song. As such this is probably a weaker song in the lot but by weak its a comparison factor; and not a condemnation of its strength in general. 7.5/10

Mourning in Amerika: The bass begins the song with a very cheerful rumble and Tim uses this to deliver a very positive tone into this song despite its gloomy subject matter. The chorus is full of genuine emotion and smoothly balance support from the instrumentals. The backing hums are another good touch that will help to keep Tim’s voice floating in the cosmos without appearing so grand that the instrumentals suddenly appear basic. Its a good balance in terms of complexity and focus that will make this another strong track for a listener to fall in love with. It’s interesting how filler free this album is and while taking the top spot on my Rise Against section of reviews will be hard; it has a good chance of taking second maybe. 8.5/10

How Many Walls: The guitars begin this one with more dire sense of urgency and Tim matches it effectively with his more tense but clear delivery. The subtle jam tone of the guitars in the background does well to establish a good relationship between the vocals and their support elements. The chorus is very straightforward and pretty much sounds like casual verses due to how long it proceeds. The bass and drums do keep a prominent place in the mixing with the drums slightly overpowering everything  else in the song to an acceptable level. 8/10

Miracle: This finale track begins with a dire sense of urgency. The instrumentals are full of energy and manage to use their melody to bring forth a high degree of emotion into the track before Tim even utters a work. The lyrics prove to be simple but highly effective and Tim delivers a powerfully positive chorus that is everything that could be asked in a farewell track on this album. The instrumentals continue to provide remarkable support with their balanced bass/drum rhythm components and subtle melodic riffs from the guitars. As they approach the end they will begin to hit you with a new touch in their sound. It breaks into a highly aggressive but cheerful breakdown that is very new for the band. It is only a taste at fist but as Tim concludes the song the breakdown returns in all of its jam glory and i’m nearly positive that it is going concert closer for the band. 9.5/10

Overall album rating:8.8/10

Sweet! it actually took the second spot by a margin of .2 and gains the band their fist B+ score from me. This was an important one to get out off of my new list and is something that you guys must check out. I still got quite a few to get off and the list happily seems to never stop growing ha ha. Tomorrow if nothing comes up; i’m planning on getting another one to you guys. I’m planning on it being a lesser expected album like Seether or In This Moment but we shall see what my mood is when the time comes. Hope you all enjoyed it and if you do share/like or whatever it is you can to help others find these reviews to read. If anything hopefully it will at the very least make them aware of the hidden gems out there in the cluttered musical landscape lol. Peace everyone!

*Reviewer’s Pick*