Ignite does it again
When I listen to Ignite’s A War Against You (2016), I can’t figure out if it’s an arena rock-influenced melodic hardcore record or a melodic hardcore-influenced arena rock record. In my opinion, many of the guitar leads and chord progressions, combined with the vocals and slick production, make it sound like more of the latter. Hardcore purists may deride them for continuing down a path that began on A Place Called Home (2000) and continued with Our Darkest Days (2006), but this evolution has generated some well-crafted anthems that fit into a solid catalog. I like the fact that they challenge the standard formula by incorporating different elements to forge a unique sound that sets them apart. Furthermore, they shouldn’t put out another Call on My Brothers (1995). As one might expect, the lyrical content is thoughtful again here as they address a number of political issues (e.g. race, environmental degradation). However, the most interesting theme that singer Zoli Teglas explores is his family’s experience in, and decision to leave, Hungary after its government fell under the dictatorial control of the former Soviet Union. Songs like “Where I’m From” deliver a poignant history lesson: “Great grandfather worked himself to death – it all got stolen away. Nothing left for us to look back upon – realized that we couldn’t stay.” While this isn’t the first time he’s addressed the topic (listen to “Poverty for All” and “A Place Called Home”), I would like to hear more about the effects of communism and the challenges that accompany immigrating to another country. Without question, there’s plenty of substance on this album for those of us who appreciate hardcore’s politics, intensity, and ethos.