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IGNITE – A War Against You

  • Release date: 2016-01-08
  • Label: Century Media
  • Review by: Manaswi Gundi

Syria is in tatters. Iraq is no different. Israel and Palestine still haven’t sorted out their issues. The Arab Uprising seems to be slowly fizzling out in the wake of the looming threat of Daesh. Europe has had to take in a whole population escaping certain death in the Middle East. Nationalism, or rather, as the “concerned citizens of Europe” like to call it, “patriotism”, is on the rise. What better time for the most political of all hardcore bands out there right now, Ignite, to release an album and take a stance against this rising bigotry and xenophobia?

If there was one hardcore album that would have to be on my list of hardcore must haves, it would be Ignite‘s last release, Our Darkest Days. This iconic album is from 2006, which makes A War Against You their first album in 10 years and the band’s sixth release overall. Is this album a worthy successor? YES. It may not be as phenomenal as Our Darkest Days, but this album is as melodic and as message driven as the former. Ignite is not known to take a step back, be diplomatic about any political issues and they make no efforts at disguising their opinions either. A War Against You is bold, melodic, catchy and hardcore. This album is testament to the dedication and energy each of the members have put into this band. The riffs are angry, yet with grace flowing through it as well. The band has added a more contemporary hard rock/rock n roll tone to the songs and it works like a charm.

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Each song is a message from the band. The emotions that run through each song are hard to come by in any other artist’s offerings. Zoli Teglas’ stint with Pennywise was impressive but what he does with Ignite on this album is some of the best vocal performances over the last few years. Begin Again and Nothing Can Stop Me (a song for a close friend fighting cancer) prove that at the very start of the album. The speedy, aggressive This Is A War, the more subdued Oh No, Not Again and the pop-hardcore (almost blink 182-esque) feel on Alive are all great examples of musicianship on this album. Work is a song about immigrants and the hardships they face when they move to a land that is strange to them. Ignite dedicates this song to all the refugees of the current crisis in the Middle East at all their gigs. The Suffering is another song that highlights the angst that the world refuses to work towards better days. The bass and the drumming on this particular number stand out.

The mix is nice, however the album could have sounded more explosive with louder guitars and bass. Both seem to have been toned down a bit on the final mix and hence the album lacks that knockout blow. A War Against You is not any less activist than any of the other albums.  Politically charged, heavy and passionate is what this album is. This album is what the hardcore world has been missing. This band is what the hardcore world has been missing. Welcome back and keep the fire burning. RISE UP!!