Rise Against releases sixth album

Staying true to the their roots, Rise Against's new album “Endgame” focuses on political and social issues. Cover art courtesy of DGC Records / Interscope Records

Josh DeGrasse-Baumann
Editorial Staff

Fans familiar with Rise Against know exactly what to expect from “Endgame,” the band’s sixth studio album.

Staying true to the band’s roots, “Endgame” focuses on political and social issues.

“Help is on the Way,” which was released as a single Jan. 25, focuses primarily on Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but can be seen as a critique on government response to disaster in general.

Socially, Rise Against debuts their stance on homophobia with “Make It Stop (September’s Children),” the third track on the album. The song details the suicides of various members of the LGBT community, naming several in the final verse.

Rise Against’s traditionally anti-elitist stance can be seen in “Disparity by Desgin.”

“Is this an over-reaching arm/or is this compassion?/Is this a handout undeserved/or a just reparation,” Tim McIlrath sings in the chorus.

The band reinforces their stance on war with “Survivor Guilt,” detailing a soldier’s death for a cause he doesn’t believe in and the inevitability of destruction for a nation bent on war.

“A Gentlemen’s Coup,” is the first song to truly hit on the album’s title.

“We seized the throne/subjugate/we should have burned it to the ground,” McIlrath sings.

Leading up to the official release, there was speculation that “Endgame” would be a concept album, but McIlrath said it was not. Instead, the album has a focus: “the end of humanity as we know it.”

“Endgame” ends with the title track, a song about, literally, the end of life as we know it. Still, the song ends with optimistic overtones.

“What if this is a good thing? What if this grotesque world we created doesn’t deserve to go on? What if the place on the other of this transition is place we’d all rather be living in,” McIlrath said in an interview with Spin.

The album led to band’s most successful commercial debut, charting number two on Billboard 200 and selling 85,000 copies in its first week.

The album was released on March 11 and is available in most traditional music stores.

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