When you think of Rise Against, calming isn't the first word that would come to mind. The punk rock stars have crafted a long and successful career with their alternative and rebellious sound, but they're trying something different. Rise Against search for new hope in the acoustic The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1, a collection of select older tracks with new acoustic compositions.
Rise Against's music is always about overcoming a struggle, but when stripping down the music, it feels less like it's about overcoming and more about finding the power in the first place to get to that point. Opening track 'The Violence' is more like a remembrance in this form, it's energetic guitars being paired with warm strings. Instead of being the high energy, confident track, it now feels like a more fragile, almost hopeless track as TIm McIlrath questions, "Are we not good enough? Are we not brave enough? Is the violence in our nature just the image of our maker?" It's like a snapshot of war, looking back on all those we have lost and really getting at whether or not we're able to stop killing and do something more constructive. 'Audience Of One' follows as if McIlrath is now trying to find the power to move on, before 'Faint Resemblance' sees a more gentle and innocent approach with its ukulele instrumental.
The dynamic of The Ghost Note Symphonies is always changing. Rise Against didn't hold anything back here in any regards. The music ranges from fully orchestrated with acoustic guitars and a big orchestra to just simple ukulele or piano chords supporting lyrics. As far as song choice goes, songs all the way from their first two albums make the cut - 'Faint Resemblance' and 'Voice Of Camera' - as well as their latest - 'House On Fire' and - 'Miracle.' Their biggest hit 'Savior' is a wonderfully folky track in its stripped form, feeling right in place with the deep cuts. Rise Against went through their entire discography to ensure that the dynamic of their messages across nearly two decades get to really shine once again.
Rise Against search for new hope in their acoustic The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1, taking tracks from across their entire discography and turning them into new acoustic reinterpretations, taking messages they've had for years upon years take a new light. Rise Against have long been singing important and cognizant messages about the state of humanity and the very foundations of war, and while sometimes it may come off as a giant, angry message to the world, these new versions reveal that, at the core of the music, there's real people who want to see change. And that's where the power comes from.
Favorite Tracks: Like The Angel, Savior
Least Favorite Track: House On Fire
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1 on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: