With a very operatic introduction, mere seconds long, it takes moments before, as expected, the bass and drums kick in to present an ear piercing, fist thumping opening track in the form of ‘The Great Die-Off’. The frenetic pace keeps up with ‘I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore’, bound to get fans screaming back the chorus at upcoming live festivals and shows.
An almost pop-rock style vibe, rather surprisingly, is contained within ‘Tragedy & Time’, the catchiest number so far. With barely a moment to catch your breath, the album then charges along into title track ‘The Black Market’, while it is ‘The Eco Terrorist In Me’ that brings back the screaming vocals which make front-man Tim a true talent to be reckoned with.
‘Suddenly Life’ is a stand-out track among the collection, musicianship and lyrical ability merging flawlessly to create a superb four minute piece. There are no tracks which can be called worse than others, but ‘Methadone’ is certainly different, again returning to the pop punk style of earlier material while the slightly slower pace of ‘Zero Visibility’ makes it the one track almost anyone can learn the lyrics to in a matter of minutes.
As much as the breather might be appreciated, it doesn’t last and soon enough, the pounding drums and thrashing guitars take their place again for ‘Awake Too Long’ before they are once again stripped away for the acoustic ‘People Live Here’ – a beautifully simplistic number and likely to be prove surprisingly popular. Closer ‘Bridges’ meanwhile ends the album on heavy, albeit insanely catchy note, bringing to an end another chapter in the bands’ ever on-going development.
Having out-lasted many of their artistic counterparts, now members of the industry for more than 15 years, RA show little sign of disappearing from the eyes and ears of their fans anytime soon, and rightly so.