A War Against You is the first album from Ignite in roughly ten years. Dropping on January 8 through Century Media, A War Against You is a definite treat for punk rock lovers. The California punk band has a passion and energy on this record that shows they’re more than ready to make a return to the music scene. Combined with meaningful lyrics that aren’t afraid to tackle relevant yet challenging topics in today’s society, A War Against You is the definition of a punk record. It’s not perfect, but the record definitely provides listeners with a welcome (re-)introduction to Ignite.
The melodies in A War Against You might seem very simple at first, but they’re perfectly matched with high energy instrumentals. Guitar and percussion driven, these are songs that a listener can potentially lose themselves in. What long-time Ignite fans might notice is how the band’s actual sound has changed and progressed. The sound that you hear on A War Against You isn’t the same sound that you heard on Ignite’s first release, Call on My Brothers. To some, the new sound might not even be similar to their 2006 release. The new record is more upbeat, more united, and each song is more of an anthem. Their sound is comparable to Black Veil Brides or a less-heavy Bullet for My Valentine.
To some, the sound change might be a little bit of a turn off. With popular bands already having that anthem-sound, a band that has been around as long as Ignite should have more of an individual sound. Their change in sound isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. In fact, the anthem-like feel of A War Against You is very fitting for what the record actually represents for the band. It’s an anthem, screaming out for attention. It’s saying “We’re back and you better listen.”
While the instrumentals are spectacular and show case Ignite’s musical talent, they’re not what make the album unique. The lyrics are the driving force behind A War Against You. They’re powerful and melodic, bringing the actual instrumental melodies to life. A majority of the songs are positive, upbeat, and even empowering. But an equal amount of the songs deal with very important but challenging issues in our society right now. They call attention to those issues and make them prominent. Depending on the listener, you might be even more driven to make a change.
As the listener progresses into A War Against You, the topics that the album deals with get deeper and deeper. “Oh No Not Again” is a basic summary of how our society reacts to war and bloodshed, and the destruction of each other taking place right outside our doors. Even listening to it creates that familiar jolt in your stomach. “The Suffering” blatantly calls out society’s ignorance to the problems facing our environment despite numerous evidence that there’s a problem (“No one wants to make the change / so the world keeps suffering”).
At times, the album is also extremely personal. A lot of songs deal with the lead singer’s own experiences being a Hungarian immigrant in America. “Alive” shines on all of the positive experiences, while the song directly after that, “Where I’m From” highlights all of the struggles that came with it. With really passionate, melodic lyrics that perfectly match the instrumentals, the album definitely makes its mark and drives its point home.
Every listener is going to react differently to this album. Though there’s something to be said about an album that isn’t afraid to deal with such heavy topics. If you’re a fan of punk rock, then A War Against You will be right up your alley. If you’re a fan of lyrics that don’t dance around topics, this album just might be for you too. Either way, it’s the perfect way for Ignite to make their return.
A War Against You is available January 8 2016 via Century Media.