The Empire Strikes First review by Bad Religion

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  • Released: Jun 8, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.8 (24 votes)
Bad Religion: The Empire Strikes First
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Sound — 10
The sound of Bad Religion has underwent a little bit of a transformation from the last album. With that said, the originality keeps it interesting throughtout the whole CD, from the James bond esque "overture" to the fast, hard hitting, almost metal "Sinister Rouge" to the catchy "Los Angeles Is Burning." Bad Religion has always had a great sound and they're back better than ever with a great sound that's interesting and with the different play styles for each song, it's hard to not like one of them. Expect some songs where there's just instrument and gregg periodically singing lyrics that you just get surrounded with, an amazing sound that really helps bring back what left real punk has, especially with crap poser pop bands like Green Day, Good Charlotte and Simple Plan. Some songs grow on you and some songs will have you outright wishing you sing along with gregg while he sings the most intelligent lyrics punk can produce. The drumming in sinister rouge is just great and the band's large ammount of guitarists provide great bass riffs with great sounding intricate solos not expected from a punk band with perfectally distorted guitars that blaze throught the album.

Lyrics — 10
Again, Gregg and Brett's lyrics always shine and always have been all the way to 1981. Like most albums politics plays a great role. The lyrics are also very philosophical challenging you to think outside of the box, to challenge your intellectuallity, to blistering critiques of mainstream news to Christianity to the War in Iraq. Such lyrics like "Child Molesters and Jesuits holding secret conference, underneath the pontiff's nose and only god will ever know" - Sinister Rouge; "From the force to the union shops, don't worry the economy is making new jobs, but the people who benefit most are breaking bread with their benevolent host, who never stole from the rich to give the poor, all he ever gave to them was a war, and a foreign enemy to deplore." It's hard not to be impressed by bad religion's thought provoking lyrics. thought Bad Religion likes to use a lot of big words they always seem to flow perfectly through the song. Gregg's voice is better than ever, from just being brazen then instantly to soft and harmonic, he does a fantastic job singing and keeping the intensity, along with his bandmates who provide secondary vocals, which fit perfectally to sound great with the song.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall this is one of Bad Religion's best efforts since Stranger Than Fiction, it gives the punk rock for all the hardcore punk fans, it give the melodic singing for the more casual punk fan, but overall the draw is that this an album you can play for anyone and they'll like it, this isn't just for the punk fans, there's something to love for everyone, that's what makes the disc so unique. From the incredibly deep and philophical lyrics, to the blistering fast paces and intricate solos to the slow soft harmonic songs it's hard not to like this CD. Another amazing CD from Bad Religion, when you open the jewel case and see the words "It's time to turn the tide" you know you're in for a ride. It's a shame that many people don't recognize Bad Religion along with other great punk bands who don't sell out like Green Day (who suck in the first place). Please save yourself from the god awful pop punk like green day and listen to bad religion, you'll be glad you did, because no one likes bands that steal from other bands, which Green Day does from bad religion hence the instant change to jumping on the hate Bush bandwagon which they obviously did for attention.

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