Sound — 8
Rise Against is back with a new record, and while it's not as heavy as any of their previous efforts, it's definitely what you can expect from them. The punk influence has decreased over the years, but their music has become increasingly melodic. Every track (save the acoustic one) just makes you want to move. There isn't really any new musical innovations but you can definitely tell the difference between this record and previous ones due to the addition of new guitarist Zach Blair. I was a bit reluctant to see Chris go, but I think I'll live. There is this undeniable quality somewhere in this bands music that is always there, and despite the fact that some people say that Rise Against has changed, I think they still got it. They can still crank out the melodic anthems that they have been cranking out for years.
Lyrics — 10
Tim has always been one of my favorite lyricists, and for good reason. He writes some damn good songs. Lyrical themes are typical for a Rise Against album, with topics ranging from love to politics to just finding yourself. Overall though, this album sounds a bit more depressing than anything they've put out before. Tracks like "Hero Of War", "Hairline Fracture", and "Audience of One" can sound pretty down at times. But it's a good thing, because these are the kinds of songs that people can relate to, and that's the kind of music we need these days. And it's the kind of music that these guys always put out. This next part goes without saying, but for reviewing purposes I'll say it anyway: Tim is an AMAZING vocalist. Even though there isn't too much screaming on this record, every track is something that you can sing along to. The only downside is, like I mentioned, not as much screaming on this record. But that can be a good thing if you don't typically enjoy it. Also, some places the lyrics seem kind of thin, like in the first track when you hear the lyrics for the entire first verse and take it apart, you think "what exactly is he talking about?" I still have to give it a ten though, because Tim's lyrics + his voice = amazing.
Overall Impression — 9
It's a little disappointing to see the bands sound tone down this much, but the core sound that they sculpted out on Revolutions per Minute is still there. It's not as heavy, but the key elements that made this band so amazing are still there. Songs that you MUST check out include (but are not limited to): Collapse, Re-education, Audience of One, and Savior. But really, take the time out to listen to all of the songs. While it isn't as heavy as any other Rise Against record, it's one of the only CDs I can listen through without skipping a single track. But please, on the next record, more screams, k? And yeah, if it were stolen/lost, I would buy it again. Twice.