Sound — 8
It's just another Rise Against album. They've made a subtle progression in their sound through the years, and if you're heard earlier stuff you'll know what to expect. Upbeat, punky riffs, catchy vocal work and plenty of emotion. If anything I'd have liked a bit more variety. This is more of a stright-up melodic hardcore record than their last one, which drifted into darker, slower territory at times. The album high point for me (and for many people I except) is the acoustic track Hero of War. Production values are tip-top. In fact a bit too squeaky clean for my liking.
Lyrics — 7
Tim has always been good at painting a picture in your mind, but at times on this album he goes a bit OTT on the environmental stuff. He still pulls it off well enough, but I miss the days when he could write a great hardcore punk tune without sounding like a whining hippie, that's all I'm saying...
Overall Impression — 7
More of a backtrack into their comfort zone than their fairly wide-ranging Sufferer and the Witness. For fans of course it's the usual wet dream of catchy punk, but take a step back and you'll realise that it's just a solid album rather than a true classic. And the little slip trying to persuade you to become a vegetarian that comes with the album is pathetic. Stop preaching and just keep making good music guys!