Posted July 20, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Rise Against Reissues 2014’s Politically Charged ‘The Black Market’

Rise Against
Rise Against

The melodic-hardcore band Rise Against just released an expanded edition of its 2014 album The Black Market. For the first time ever, all recordings that were previously available as bonus tracks — “About Damn Time” and “We Will Never Forget” from The Eco-Terrorist in Me 7-inch and the Japan-only bonus track “Escape Artists” — have been added to the international digital version of the album. 

The Black Market peaked at No. 3 on the Top 200 upon its release and remains one of Rise Against’s most essential albums.

Rise Against emerged in the early 2000s from the Chicago heavy music scene, fusing old-school punk attitude with post-hardcore fury on albums such as 2003’s Revolutions Per Minute, 2004’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture and 2011’s Endgame.

“It was a great time for the band,” guitarist Zach Blair says in a press release about the reissue of The Black Market. “We’d just come off a successful touring cycle with Endgame and had some real career highs with that.” 

But because close friend and former bandmate Dave Brockie of Gwar had died, Blair was also going through a difficult time. 

“I also had a personal dark spot at this time because I found out Dave Brockie had died,” he says. “I was crushed, but I put my emotions into the process.” 

While at their Fort Collins, CO homebase brainstorming, “the ideas started flowing.” The result, Blair says, was the band’s darkest record to date.

The album’s opener “The Great Die-Off” is a call to global revolution that Blair says still holds true. 

“The lyrics are some of my favorite of ours and still hold so true in today’s modern political climate,” says Blair.

When the old guard won’t step aside with their outdated practices and ethics, then the young and idealistic will rise up and overthrow [them]. We’re seeing that right now, and hopefully we’ll see that in November.

“We really swung for the fences. Stylistically, I think it was one of our most important efforts because we really took liberties with what we perceived as the Rise sound. Which, in turn, broke us out of certain creative boxes and dead ends on the following records.” 

By tearing up the rulebook of what a Rise Against record should be, The Black Market covers all of the band’s extremes, from traditional punk (“The Eco-Terrorist in Me”) to more metallic territory (“Zero Visibility”) to left-field experimentation (“Methadone”).

With The Black Market, the band aimed to shatter “the idea that you have to compromise to succeed.” 

“We’re all very proud of The Black Market, and it reserves a very important spot in the Rise Against canon,” Blair says. “I can honestly say that [it’s one of] my top three Rise records, if not my favorite.”


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].