The Empire Strikes First Review

artist: Bad Religion date: 03/28/2007 category: compact discs

Sign up to get weekly digest with top stories from UG. Ads free, only news.

Thanks for subscribing! Check your email soon for some great stories from UG

Bad Religion: The Empire Strikes First
Released: June 8, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Hardcore Punk
Number Of Tracks: 14
Empire Strikes First isn't a return to Bad Religion at its most vitriolic and unstoppable.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 4 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 09, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Music is loud, fast, and the hooks are insane and "Los Angeles Is Burning" might go down as one of the top 10 best songs ever of BR. Awesome lyrics, crazy melodies, flowing riffs. Another classic Bad Religion record that again raises the bar of what punk rock should be: experimental, real, and powerful! A great addition to their influential discography. Their tone doesn't change, but the battles are always changing. BR harmonies rise and fall behind a pleadingly angry Graffin in "All There Is", and one of the band's three guitarists adds a solo blister. // 10

Lyrics: On their latest CD entitled The Empire Strikes First, punk's most important active band takes its weightiest stance yet on the dual themes of religion and politics. Songs like "Let Them Eat War," "Los Angeles Is Burning" and "Sinister Rouge" get right in the face of the church, the government and the public alike; the band pulls no punches with this album and the result is another clear, powerful, classic Bad Religion album! Best might be "Los Angeles Is Burning". // 10

Overall Impression: Same awesome Bad Religion as before except faster, harder, and flowing so smooth. The punk-pop kids in the drive-thru and hanging out at half-pipes need to see the graybeards bringing the big issue pain train. But it helps if those issues are bound to strong melodies, and in this deptartment Bad Religion doesn't disappoint. The person who said it was their worst record in a decade, obviosuly hasn't listented to the last four records. Thanks Bad Religion, you shine a bright light upon an otherwise dark future for the world. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: Alexi1337, on june 10, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: One of the first things I noticed about this album was the sound quality. It's awesome. The album is just outstanding from start to finish. It ranges from fast and agressive to catchy and melodic and keeps it interesting the whole time. Bad Religion mixed some electronic elements into this album, but it doesn't seem intrusive and is used to help their songs as opposed to making them sound fake. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are political and philosophical, like most of bad religions music. Greg and Brett really are a great duo and the songs on this album are just a testament to their collective ability. The lyrics are clever and intelligent, and the choruses are catchy with awesome guitar hooks and outstanding drum work. // 10

Overall Impression: I personally think this album is better than process of belief. Every song on this album is impressive and there isn't really a "bad song" on the whole CD. I really liked "Los Angeles Is Burning" but I also liked "All There Is" as my two favorites. This album is definately worth buying, and if it was lost or stolen, I'd buy it again. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.7
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 14, 2004
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bad Religion has gotten alot better over the years and this is they're best one. The guitar is better since they added another guy and this drummer is better. No Control was rhe first BR CD I got and I loved it. I love this more. // 10

Lyrics: Sometimes BR gets kinda weird with the lyrics, but that dosen't really taint it that much. Greg Graffin is not the best singer but it works for BR. // 6

Overall Impression: It is better than all other BR cd's. The 3 best songs are: All There Is, Overture/Sinister Rouge, and Let Them Eat War. I love the guitars. I don't really like the lyrics. If it were stolen I'd definetly re-buy it. It is totally worth buying. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 20, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is the same great BR sound. The guitar has gotten a lot better, but it sounds a lot more like the old BR (which I personally like). It is hard, fast, and awesome. It is defenitly punk. // 10

Lyrics: Greg may not be the best singer, but he is the only person that could be the singer for BR. His voice is perfect for BR's type of music. The lyrics are awesome like all of the other BR songs. The lyrics are defenitly political, which BR has always been, but this album is very very very political. All you George Bush fans stay away! The lyrics are great like I said. I personally don't know how they do it. Sinister Rouge is one of the best BR songs of all time. I've read reviews that say that the lyrics of the last songs are not good. It's crap! // 10

Overall Impression: This is a great album. It reminds me of the old BR which are great. Anyone who likes Blink 182, Green Day, or any other punk bands like that I would recomend you check 'em out. Either this album of No Control, their best. All the tracks are good, but the ones that stand out are Sinister Rouge, The Empire Strikes First, Let Them Eat War, All There Is, Atheist Peace, and Los Angeles Is Burning are the best. I know that's about all but I love those. My only complaint is Overture which is like a session song, I don't like those. I recommend you get it now, I know if mine were stolen I would buy it. It's great. Probably in their top 3 and my top 5. By the way sorry for any misspellings, bad speller. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: Bad Religion, on december 21, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.7
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: Jaw Knee, on january 19, 2006
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of the guitars works pretty well. The beginning shred on the intro to "Let Them Eat War" is pretty nifty. The guitar solo in Sinister Rouge is wicked in its own sense. With bendable wreckage and sweet motions. There is a little tiny bit of hip hop in Let them Eat War. Done by Redman who also helped Offspring on Original Prankster. // 9

Lyrics: These lyrics were very clever. "Child Molesters And Jesuits" is a strong theme of religion in that tone. But the lyrics are focusing on the way Bush has been handling the country. Greg Graffin's vocals give the songs a strong, powerful feel. He never yells but always sounds to me like a punk rock leader making a point of what George W. Bush has done to the country. It is clearly expressed in "Let them Eat War" and "Los Angeles Is Burning". // 9

Overall Impression: This is one of their better albums. Short, but worth the buy. The best songs on this album are "Sinister Rouge," "Social Suicide," "Los Angeles Is Burning," "Let Them Eat War" and "The Quickening." This is one of their best albums. Many people hated Stranger than Fiction. But I thought it was alright. Then "Gray Album" I think it was called, was a lot better than this one. But it did compare. If some heartless jerk steals this from you, buy it again. It's definitley worth to hear and it may even be one of the collectibles in the future. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.3
The Empire Strikes First Reviewed by: Truth Seeker, on march 28, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Having heard the name tossed around for so long, it was a couple of years ago that I decided to pick up my very own copy of a Bad Religion CD. However, sad as it is to say, it never really kept my attention. I liked the title track, and "Los Angeles is Burning," but that was about it, and that was mainly because they were the two singles. Now, switch over to a few months ago: I was searching through my CD collection, and I happen to stumble upon it once more. With a slightly different attitude and new interest, I took another listen and reprimanded myself for letting this album be pushed to the wayside. Sonically, it is your typical Bad Religion album. However, there seems to be a revitalized energy that was lacking in several of the other albums, and only reveals that they have plenty to say. It is darker; it is concise; and most of all it is a powerhouse of sheer rage. Starting from an eerie and foreboding "Overture" the album blasts pure adrenaline song after song, until slightly slowing down just a tad at the end with pieces like "To Another Abyss," "Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever" and "Live Again." These tracks in particular, especially the last one, make for an exquisite ending to this album. // 9

Lyrics: Even back when I didn't quite know what to make of this album (or of this band, even) I was always impressed by the lyrics, and also by the vocals. I didn't quite understand them, but I still liked them. Being a little older makes me appreciate them more. I now understand the opinions and criticisms the band was trying to convey--be it from the war in Iraq, to abortion, to religion, to society in general. The lyrics are somewhat more eloquent then other lyrics I had heard, and to play to a longtime stereotype about the band, I'll admit it: I like the fact that I had to look words up in the dictionary (yes, I am that nerdy.) As far as the vocals go: I was intrigued. The vocals, although, they seem kind of thin, in comparison to other albums are clear, knowledgeable, calming (oddly enough, ) but at the same time angry enough to pull off the vitriolic fury of the lyrics which are only accentuated by the standard three part harmonies. // 8

Overall Impression: Having expanded my musical interests in the interim of physically getting this disc and actaully sitting down to listen to it, I can now see this album for what it is: a good critique on our world, and administration. It raises questions, and makes one wonder why exactly things are the way they are. However, as with any album, it is far from perfect. There are a couple of songs that seem to drag on for too long or are in fact, unecessary, such as "Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever" and "Atheist Peace," respectively. At other times, there are a couple of lyrics that seem a little corny, as with the title track ("don't want to live/don't want to give/don't want to be/Empire!")or the second song in the previous sentence. Moreover, looking back, I realize that this album may not have been the best album to get a person into Bad Religion. For that, I recommend either All Ages, or Stranger Than Fiction. However, that doesn't mean it's a bad album. Quite the contrary, and I would definitely find some way to replace it, if something happened to it. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
More Bad Religion reviews rating latest review
+ Christmas Songs 7.5 12/26/2013
+ True North 8.7 02/12/2013
+ Against The Grain 8.7 03/19/2012
+ The Dissent Of Man 8.5 10/07/2010
+ Generator 9.5 12/04/2007
+ view all
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear