Reviews Ignite A War Against You

Ignite

A War Against You

Even after a decade, Ignite still managed to put out a record that was the logical step forward from Our Darkest Days. While it's not a "reunion" album, it certainly feels like it. Up until the last couple years, Ignite have pretty much been on and off when it came to performing. Front-man, Zoli Teglas, went on to join Pennywise for a couple years. Brett Rasmussen and Nik Hill formed Nations Afire with former Rise Against guitarist, Chris Chasse. Hill eventually left Ignite all together and started up Lucky Scars. Basically, the band was put on the back burner. Fortunately, they started to become more active in recent years. Between all the side-projects, Euro tours, and some shows in the States, they began writing some new material over the course of a few years which amounted to a laundry list of songs. This long writing process seems to be evident. Earlier tracks on the album bank more on the “Radio Rock” side, and the first half doesn’t come off as cohesive as the second. Once it hits its stride though, it’s all full steam ahead.

A War Against You opens with “Begin Again.” Some, if not most, will probably be taken aback by the opening. Comparable to Queen, there’s an operatic tinge from Zoli’s intro. Now, the song itself is not bad, but there was a better choice of song to open the album. I'll get to that in a bit. Part of me thinks they just went with “Begin Again” because of the convenient title. Aside from the increasing tempo in the bridge, not much of the song gets you pumped for the album. Lead single, “Nothing Can Stop Me.” is fast paced, anthemic, and aggressive – basically everything you can hope for from Ignite. The song could even find a spot among the radio playlists next to Rise Against -- try not to take that as a negative. Up next is "This is a War," which is what I wish would have been the opener. You get a better idea of what you can expect from the rest of the album with its aggressive riffs, fast tempo, and melodic chorus. Let's say you were to throw Ignite and Bad Religion into a blender, I believe this is the substance that would come out of it. The only downside to, "This is a War," is it's followed by "Oh No, Not Again." Arguably, this may be the weakest track Ignite have ever written. Maybe you won't be as critical, but I shudder a little each time its hackneyed chorus kicks in.

After, "Alive," possibly Ignite's most mainstream sounding song, we come to the three strongest songs -- in succession no less -- on the album. "You Saved Me," has just about everyone having their moment to shine. "Rise Up," throws a huge curve-ball at you. The track starts slow and sounds like it's going to be some sort of "hardcore-ballad," but then the song explodes with some of the best uptempo melodies on the album! This holy trinity of tracks is concluded with, "Where I'm From." We're talking classic Ignite here with a bit of new thrown in. Lyrically, it covers all grounds from xenophobia, war, and pride all told through Zoli's brief family history. His powerful performance makes the song. Naturally, it's also the song Zoli chose to sing in Hungarian as this album's "secret" track.

Don't worry, the good doesn't end there. By this point, the album has pretty much become a machine and there's no stopping it. "The Suffering" and "How is This Progress?" keep up the pace with their well formulated riffs, fills, and tempo changes. There's a tonal change with, "You Lie." The track is heavier and darker than anything else on the album. While it's not a bad track, it just feels out of place. "Descend" has the perfect blend of melodic hardcore and mainstream rock. Much like on Our Darkest Days, Ignite go the more intimate route for their closer, "Work," with just Zoli singing along to a guitar. It's a calming end to what has been such an energetic record.

A War Against You seems to start off a little groggy, but eventually it finally wakes up. It could have gotten rid of a couple tracks, but ultimately they don't take away from anything great in the album. There's no doubt in my mind that A War Against You has found its own identity among the rest of Ignite's catalog and is a welcome addition. Ignite is back and better than ever.

8.7 / 10Aaron H
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8.7 / 10

8.7 / 10

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