It's been six years since Ignite's last full-length, A Place Called Home, so one might expect their return to be a bit rocky, it having been so long. It turns out that it's anything but rocky.
Our Darkest Days is quite possibly Ignite's best work to date, and depending on your tastes, you may or may not agree. Vocalist Zoli Teglas sounds better than he ever has, showcasing an obvious step up in the quality of his singing since A Place Called Home. The singing, however, may be what older Ignite fans may not enjoy because the earlier records leaned a bit more towards the hardcore end of the spectrum, while now that Teglas' vocals have become stronger than ever, Ignite has become a melodic hardcore outfit through and through. Whatever your tastes, it cannot be denied that the man has an incredible voice.
With a title like Our Darkest Days matched with artwork that depicts an oil refinery, you don't have to listen to figure out that there are political overtones here, as Ignite has always crafted interesting political songs. The surprising thing is that there aren't as many political songs as you would expect. There are many songs that appear more introspective and have Teglas singing about betrayal and redemption, which are definitely fitting themes for the record, but while those songs are generally good, the best tracks are politically charged.
The last two tracks are a change of pace from the rest of the album, but the good thing is that they don't sound out of place. First, there is the cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" which at this point is a song that has been covered approximately 1,000 times (a generous estimate, I'm sure), but Ignite performs what is probably one of the best covers I've heard, and in my opinion, bests even the original, but unless you hate U2 as much as I do (a whole fucking lot) you'll probably disagree.
The final track, "Live for Better Days", is potentially my favorite song on this disc. The reason it may seem out of place is that it is an acoustic song, but one that is done so well that you can't really be disappointed that they chose it to close out the album. As the title implies, it is the most hopeful of all the songs comprising Our Darkest Days as Teglas serenades the listener with a heartfelt song about not looking at failure with regret, and instead trying to "live for better days".
While a couple of the songs' lyrics can be a bit ho-hum, Our Darkest Days marks the return of Ignite, and with such a strong return, I can't be anything but optimistic about this band's future. Hopefully it's not another six years before we hear from them again.
9.0 / 10
Posted Dec. 24, 2016, 1:56 p.m.
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