Ignite have been making some of the best hardcore punk music since forming in 1993, but really started coming into their own with the release of 'A Place Called Home' in 2001. Where as before they sounded like a traditional hardcore band; (fast, agressive but with a sense of melody) with this album lead singer Zoli developed his more punk stylings into a richer hard rock style against the more varied (but still very much punk) songs.
Fast forward to 2006 and the album 'Our Darkest Days' which is perhaps two steps forward to the one step that the previous full length was in terms of prior material. The first thing that hits you (and really stands them apart from the rest) is how powerful and intensely melodic Zoli's vocals have become which will really pull in new listeners to the band...
Musically we have a very sharp, energetic punk-rock attack with a big hard rock influence which flies at you with the opening track 'Bleeding'. This track is perfect for anyone to decide whether they are going to enjoy the album and is over in barely 2 minutes! We're taken down a notch with the next couple songs 'Fear Is Our tradition' and 'Let It Burn' which are mid-tempo numbers with big, anthemic choruses that appear all over the album. Next up is one of my favourite tracks and is a straight up slice of fast, political hardcore punk about the communist occupation of Hungary (specifically the 1956 revolution) called 'Poverty For All'. This track is a fist pumping, gang shouting whirlwind that sends shivers down my spine hearing the conviction with which the lyrics are delivered:
'Poverty for all
But freedom's the exception
The Proletariat, now the
The murder, the torture
The terror, the famine
Fifty years under the
That's all over in a couple minutes and is taken down a notch with the other single 'My Judgement Day' which is also one of the most commercially viable tracks which is more hard rock in style. The following track 'Slowdown' features probably the best chorus of the lot and a deffinate favourite. After this we get the tracks 'Save Yourself', 'Three Years', 'Know Your History' and 'Strength' which follow the albums trend of mid-paced punk-rock anthems and blistering hardcore in equal measure. While not particular stand outs, they are incredibley solid and each good songs in their own right.
And so to finish off the album we have a good cover of U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' which I much prefer to the original and works very well as a fast song. The album closer let's you relax with the acoustic number 'Live For Better Days' which perfectly rounds off a pretty much perfect album (until the secret track at the end sung in Hungarian).
If I was to sum up the overall sound of this album briefly, I'd say that it sounds like the singer from The Scorpions fronting a hardcore punk band who can write big choruses and mix things up a little! As a big fan of the genre; I can safely say that no one does it quite as well as Ignite and I'd highly reccomend this album to any punk or rock fan.
I've recently discovered the band Ignite, and have quickly come to love their latest album Our Darkest Days. It has that perfect blend of melody, speed, and plain loudness. A lot of the lyrics are related to the conflicts involving Hungary, as the lead singer is Hungarian (you might detect it in his singing, if you listen carefully).
I'll say a little bit about the songs I like the most
"Bleeding" and "Fear Is Our Tradition" both have great melodies in the chorus (especially "Bleeding"), and are heavy enough to satisfy the punk lovers
"Let It Burn" has an excellent sing-along type of chorus, with a more shout-along type of prechorus
"Slowdown" is the best song on the album, in my opinion. The chorus is pure brilliance, and the lyrics are good too. The bridge is amazing, and the song has slower, breakdown-type sections that give the song a good amount of variety
"Save Yourself" has some seemingly common, typical lyrics, but I think Ignite dealt with the topic better than most others
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a decently done punk cover of the old U2 song
The album as a whole makes me happy. Simple as that. There's not a single song that I dislike so much that I skip it, but obviously I like some songs more than others. I also really like how the album ends on "Live for Better Days", which is a nice happy upbeat acoustic song. Then there's a hidden track at end, sung in Hungarian. I generally ignore this, so as to keep my happiness from "Live for Better Days". My only problem with the album is that most of the songs that I like are in the first half. SO for me, the album ends on a bit of an anti-climax. But oh well.
So overall, I would really recommend this album to anyone into punk or rock and anything in between (especially Rise Against fans)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
3 Fear Is Our Tradition
4 Let It Burn
5 Poverty For All
6 My Judgement Day
8 Save Yourself
9 Are You Listening
10 Three Years
11 Know Your History
13 Sunday Bloody Sunday
14 Live For Better Days