Appeal To Reason Review

artist: Rise Against date: 11/17/2009 category: compact discs
Rise Against: Appeal To Reason
Released: Oct 7, 2008
Genre: Melodic Hardcore
Label: Geffen
Number Of Tracks: 13
The album is the band's third release on a major label, and also their first release with current guitarist Zach Blair.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.4
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reviews (11) 70 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: Amuro Jay, on october 28, 2008
9 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 10
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: nick_b, on february 09, 2009
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: I picked up this album on the strength of hearing three songs off it: Entertainment, Audience of One and, of course, Reeducation (Through Labor). I don't usually buy albums for reasons such as liking one or two songs, but I was glad that I bought this album after hearing the first track, Collapse (Post Amerika). this opening song set the scene for the remainder of the album, which is fast, relentless and classic Rise Against. Tim screams much less than in previous albums, and his tone of voice has changed slightly. this makes their songs sound much more mature, and gives their songs more character. when he screams, he has absolute control and is, in my opinion, one of the great rock vocalists of our generation. This album is a political and social statement that any fan of old Rise Against, or Billy Talent will love // 10

Lyrics: Tim's lyrics, as everyone has pointed out, are absolutely phenomenal. from the hollywood bashing of "entertainment" to the heavy hearted war ballad "hero of war", his lyrics are near-perfect. at times, they are shallow, but his voice makes up for any niggling issues with the poetry of his work, because he's just so motherf**king good // 10

Overall Impression: This album is very similar in execution to 'the sufferer and the witness', but the slight change in the voice and guitar tones make it sound a lot more mature than their previous works. my favourite album of theirs by a mile. My favourite songs on it are 'entertainment' 'savior' and 'hero of war', all of which are masterpieces of songwriting. If it were stolen, I'd make the person who stole it give it back, and buy another three copies. And then one for every room in my house. and then one to listen to in the car. Go and buy a copy now! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: Lemurs4mangos, on february 10, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of the album seems to be pretty good. Sometimes I feel like the distortion "fuzz" over fills a bit, but I guess it adds to the overall impression on the songs. It seems like the album is based around war, poverty, the world crashing. Then kind of apacolypse that everyone keeps talking about that we're digging ourselves into. But there is light such as in "Long Forgotten Sons" talking about how there are still people out there that can help and want to help, but soceity is too busy mourning themselves to care. They artists seemed to improve the bass line on the album. But as stated before in a pervious review, not as much screaming. I don't know if you're one that doesn't like the screaming, but I know I do. And yeah personally I miss it a bit, but the songs still came out great. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics I beleive are amazing. The song "From Heads Unworthy" starts out with (after the first few lines) "Love Lost, Like a Bullets Path, Tear through the cavity of my chest, Lights out, Because the fuse has blown" to me those are a great couple of lines. it's not completely straight forward, but it's still got all the hints to the message the song has. Good lyrics shouldn't be straight forward, but not so far out that no one can figure out what they mean. Tim's singing skillz are great, would like a bit more screaming, but listening to some of the songs, I don't know exactly where you could fit it in really... // 10

Overall Impression: My personal favorite album right now is this one, but recent albums I've liked such as "Death Magnetic" which people often disagree on, I believe this album stacks up quite well to that. I also liked "Scream, Aim, Fire" and this album is great, but still I believe that "Appeal to Reason" beat it out. My Favorite songs from the album are "Collapse", "Re-Education (Through Labor)", "From Heads Unworthy", "Kotov Syndrome", and "The Dirt Whispered". It seems like most of the album and it is. I love how all the songs have a message behind them and I've been obsessed with this album for the past few weeks. The guitar has it's own little riffs, and personally I've gone through each song and listened to each part, and I pick up everything now, and it's all pieced together very well. If it were lost/stolen I'd replace it as many times as needed. (but I'd also be smart and upload them on to my iPod *evil laugh*) Yeah amazing album, great lyrics, needs more screaming! // 9

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overall: 9.3
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: RageFan1900, on october 28, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The latest release by Rise Against is a big winner in my book. Although this is another step away from their original fast-paced, aggressive sound that was The Unraveling, it still is a musical powerhouse. When I first listened to it, I was surprised to say the least. The sound is more mainstream and mellow than old-school Rise Against. However, they sure as hell can write music. Even though the sound has been taken down some notches in terms of pure energy and speed (the drums aren't as break-neck fast as they used to be), quite possibly to appeal to more people, the band's liberal messages stay the same. The first track "Collapse (Post-Amerika)" is the pure Rise Against sound that is most reminiscent of Siren Song and Sufferer and the Witness. There's one song named "The Dirt Whispered," which to me was the most unusual thing to hear Rise Against play. The song, to me at least, sounded like Blink-182 grown up. Tim sings a lot better than Mark and Tom, especially Tom. Tim's voice is most impressive on "Kotov Syndrome" and "The Strength to Go On." My three favorite tracks on this album come in a row, with "Entertainment,"(the circus 'bum-DUN-DUN, bum-DUN-DUN' was a stroke of genius) "Hero of War,"(showcases McIlrath's ability to shove the song concept in your face lyrically, because he doesn't beat around the bush) and my favortie track on the whole album, and one of my new favorite Risa Against songs, "Savior." "Savior" to me is a perfect song, that captures the sound of the new album perfectly. If you are wondering if you should get this album or not, listen to "Savior" on YouTube or something, and make your decision from there. I don't think you'll be disappointed with that song. I'm giving this category a 9 because I would give Siren Song a 10, and I personally believe that's their best album to date. This is a damn good album. // 9

Lyrics: Tim McIlrath's lyrics are always great. He has a way with words that in several songs today cannot be matched. He can make a song so poetic it's make your head spin, while writing a song with a message so straightforward that it just punches you in the face. "Hero of War" is a great example of his lyrical ability. Even though it's a simple story, the emotion that it brings out is rarely found in other music today. "Entertainment" is practically a bitch-slap to Hollywood. Also, Tim's voice is one of the best I've ever heard. He has a very unique voice that fits the music perfectly, to the point that if he left, there would be no more Rise Against. Even if they got a new singer, it wouldn't be the same. Unless they do what Journey did and find some guy who actually sounds just like him, but what are the odds for that happening to another band? // 10

Overall Impression: I believe that this is Rise Against's 2nd best album. It's tied right now with Sufferer and the Witness. The main thing to take away from this review is that the sound on this album is slightly more alternative than previous, and there are more 'slower' songs, in the sense of the drums. This album still has a lot of energy behind it, just not the "bounce off the walls" energy that was on the first two albums, and on a few songs from Siren Song. I love how Tim's voice seems to have gotten stronger as time has gone on, and the new guitarist fits the bill for Rise Against. The one thing that I don't like about the album is it shows the decline of power and energy from album to album. I don't think they'll ever become a pop-punk band, but I can see in a few more years where their sound has completely departed from The Unraveling. If it were stolen, and my hard drive was wiped, hell yeah I would buy this agsin. The album was a great listen from start to finish, and I recommend it for the hardcore fans of the band, and also those who just heard "Re-Education (Through Labor)" to pick it up. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: cooper665, on november 10, 2008
1 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rise agains have managed to change there style of music completely since the sufferer and the witness. The weird thing thing is, when bands usually do this they end up sounding bad. This is different. the whole music sounds calmer, less crazy. that's pretty bad comparing it to there older stuff, but somwhow it works. when I first listened to it I found it hard to belive it was still them, but I like it. the slighly more complex guitar riffs formed by the new guitarist zach blair gives it a bit more of a clearer(and slightly more agressive)kick out of it. it's nice to have calmer music once in a while, this really does it. I suprised myself actually liking this new sound with pretty much every song sounding brilliant. // 9

Lyrics: Tim Mcilrath has to be the best lyric writer ever. his sensible but politicly dangerous lyrics are just great. he doesnt't just do all the crappy love stuff. he writes all about the real problems, global warming, war etc. listening to him is indescribable. from his old rough screaming voice everyone loves to his normal singing voice everyone loves song after song. It doesnt't mean they've stopped the screamo stuff. the last track brings it back into play with an immense passage. lso he commits himself wholeheartedly to the lyrics music and vocals. he took a risk lowing down but it is just as awesome. // 10

Overall Impression: changing genre for this album was never going to be easy. there's always gonna be "fans" who now dislike them becaus of the change. I don't care. I think it just shows how one reasonably popular band can change and how talented these guys really are. I think it's all just brilliant punk this album. the guide for writing a reveiw says name songs that are good from the album. I got a better idea. just freakin buy it. buy it because it is just different. // 10

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overall: 4
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: voicesoffcamera, on april 07, 2009
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: I had high hopes for this record before the release, Re-Education and Collapse both being amazing tracks. Then when the actual album came out I was at a loss for words. I have absolutely loved all of Rise Against's music. Every single one of their songs has been one of my favourites at one time or another. I don't know how they changed so much, whether it was new guitarist Zach Blair or just the constant pressure to write more "mainstream" songs, but this album flat out sucks. I hate to say it but the music sounds like it could be Nickelback or Hinder if they got slightly heavier. Their gritty punk yet still melodic sound is what made me fall in love with them. This CD gets rid of the punk sound and replaces it with a generic mainstream rock sound, with riffs so plain and simple they could have been written by Angus Young. Their riffs used to be aggressive, fast and complex. I can barely even listen to any of the songs besides the two I've already mentioned. // 3

Lyrics: I have to admit Tim's still got it. His voice is pure godliness, he executes every note with power and perfection. I can't get enough of his voice but thankfully I can get my fix from all of the previous albums. As others have mentioned there is an absence of screaming in these songs which I find to be a bad idea for Rise Against and further proof they're starting to play for the money. The seamless transition from beautiful melodies to screaming was one of the reasons Rise Against was so different from other recent punk bands who've tried to do the same. His lyrics have always been powerful, deep and thought-provoking and I found a serious lack of that on Appeal to Reason. It seems like he's trying too hard now instead of just letting his personal beliefs and thoughts flow into his lyrics. Some of the lyrics he's written this time around barely make any sense, trying so hard to be deep that the metaphors are lost. // 5

Overall Impression: I can see how it appeals to new fans but I can't see how anybody who's loved their previous efforts could truly like this, unless they already loved mainstream rock music as well. I tried getting into the album. I tried to like it because I love Rise Against, they're my (ex) favourite band. I owed it to them but unfortunately this album just bombed. My overall impression? I hope this album's a joke. // 4

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overall: 10
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: roobaad, on november 17, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Sound of the album "Appeal to Reason" by Rise Against, is a very defined sound with clear structure in the whole Ablum. It's a very powerful Sound, and every chord and line seems to be thought through and trough. For me this is Music at the highest level. // 10

Lyrics: The Lyrics in this Album are interesting and thoughtful, I think, the Band is really standing behind every song, and there's no doubt, that the music does fit to the lyrics in every way. That the Singer has pretty good skills is nothing I would doubt in any way. So I think the Lyrics are a very important part of this album and they're very good. // 10

Overall Impression: A really great album, which follows the line of the albums before, but it's not just the same again, it's better, and it's absolut one of my favourite albums at all. One of the most impressive songs from the album is "hero of war" which is about an american guy, who becomes a soldier, and is proud of his nation, until is has to kill someone who's innocent. this person carried a Flag a "flag white as snow" which he brings home and which is the only flag he likes in the end. I love about the Album nearly everything, it's just great music, and it's very impressive to listen to it. If it were stolen, I would definetly buy it again. so my Overall Impression is that this album is just great. But that's only my Opinion ;) // 10

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overall: 7.3
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: jonnowev, on february 10, 2009
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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... // 7

Overall Impression: 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! // 7

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overall: 10
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: Guitarfreak147, on april 07, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this band is extrodinary. They really make the music sound hard in certain parts, but really, it's a bunch of simple power chords and palm mutes. I also prefer you to buy this CD because of it's unique way of it's sound. When you listen to it, there are different sounds on each speaker or headset earplug. If you love this sound as much as I do, then you'll know every part of the song and sing along. Listen to each song 20 times and I promise you you'll remember it. The sound of the band is what makes it one of the famous bands now. // 10

Lyrics: The Lyrics in this song kick butt. Tim Mcilrath has some singing skills as well. He is the perfect singer for the band and makes the guys jealous and the gals love him. I know no one else could fill his spot. In some of his songs, he gives a message hidden inside the lyrics that are about the world or the environment. Some are sad, some relaxing, some just downright awesome. They also combine with the music so clearly, you just sit and listen to it for hours. (So please do so) // 10

Overall Impression: If you think you can get a better album, well guess what? You can't! This is the best album you'll get your hands on. Don't lose this album. God is watching and he will come and get you if you do. So buy this album a million times if you have to, just have a copy on hand at all times, even if it's on your MP3. If you just want to buy songs, (because it's cheaper) think about purchasing these songs: Re-Education (Through Labor), Audience Of One, Savior, and Hero Of War. Some things I love about the album is that all songs are different. None of them sound the same in many ways at all; they are unique in their own way. One thing I do dislike about this album though, is that when you listen with your friends with an MP3 (One earplug per person) is that the song has different parts. Sometimes, you'll only hear bass, vocals, or even nothing. So be careful with your MP3 if your friends listen with you. // 10

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overall: 4.3
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: DeathBlossoms, on july 08, 2009
0 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rise Against has been familiar throughout the underground for almost ten years. However, like most bands do at some point, they made a tentative push towards mainstream by moving away from the core sound they established in their early work (Revolutions Per Minute) and tried something new. This could go two ways; it could either be a huge success or huge blow to the band. In this case, it's hard to even compare their new album to their early work. The band softened their sound to a point where it doesn't even sound like there is any punk influence involved at all. Earlier songs such as "Blood Red White and Blue", "State Of The Union", "Voices Off Camera", and "Ready To Fall" could really get you moving. I find it hard to listen to anything on Appeal to Reason and want to jump around. The overall sound doesn't have the right feeling to make you want to go crazy and start a circle pit. It's all too mealodic and not the Rise Against style at all. // 2

Lyrics: Lets face it, Tim McIlrath is an amazing lyricist and vocalist. That can never change no matter how the overall music sounds. Every song Rise Against has written has had some special feeling behind it that anyone could relate to. Basically, there's a Rise Against song out there for everybody. The one thing I loved about Rise Against album was that there was always one song on every album that could listen to all the way through and think to myself, "Damn." then go back and listen to it again with the same reaction. Those songs are "Everchanging" from The Unraveling, "Halfway There" from Revolutions Per Minute, "Dancing For Rain" on Siren Song Of The Counter Culture, and "Survive" from Sufferer And The Witness. The one thing I noticed about Appeal To Reason was that it seemed like they tried to pour their hearts out into every single song. It all just sounds too depressing, songs like "Hero Of War" and "From Heads Unworthy" are all downers. It also seemed like some lines just didn't fit with the rest of the song or they were just plain corny. For instance, one line from "Audience Of One" is; "We're all okay, until the day we're not." I can't stand that line. It sounds so corny and out of place. Despite the slow and mealodic music put to the lyrics and few out of place lines, the lyrics on this CD are very well writtin, which has come to be expected from the band. Needless to say, Tim is an amazing vocalist. He's always been one of my favorite lyricsist and vocalists because of the sheer power he puts into both. However, his voice used to be very raw and was a huge part of the entire Rise Against sound. His voiced softened along with the rest of the music and is too smooth. Most of my favorite Rise Against songs involve Tim's unique screaming. In my own oppinion, Tim should have used that ability to his advantage. // 7

Overall Impression: Appeal To Reason is hard to compare to any of the bands previous albums. Any long term Rise Against fan could tell you that. One thing that bothers me is whenever I ask the question "Do you know the band Rise Against?" I get the same answer every time; "Yeah! They did Re-education!" Its obvious that this new album has caught the attention of new fans. You can't even turn on the radio without hearing "Audience Of One" anymore. I guess its possible to listen to this album if you're feeling sad or depressed, but it's not something I would listen to for the hell of it. The only thing about this album that I like is that Tim can still put out amazing lyrics after ten years of writing. However, if you're a long time fan of the band, I wouldn't recommend this album to you. // 4

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overall: 10
Appeal To Reason Reviewed by: Cdynckl, on july 24, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is amazing. Ok, that aside, this album is less hardcore, not much, but a little. There are a lot less screams than past albums, some may like it, I kinda miss it. Their songs are all great, I can just listen to this album over and over, and I always want to listen to their songs twice or three times in a row. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are very deep. Tim has always written great, deep lyrics. He goes from Hero of War, a song about a young man and his experience with war, to Entertainment, a song bashing the whole entertainment industry, to Long Forgotten Sons, a song about the people who are still there trying to make things better. As always with Tim, expect awesomeness with the vocals. This guy can sing amazingly. He has a great voice, never can get tired of him. He also can scream like no other. I went to a concert of theirs and when he was screaming, it looked like it to no more effort than talking. Amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: This is probably one of my favorite albums. I actually would call this my second favorite. Siren Song of the Counter Culture would have to be first. If this CD was stolen. I'd hunt down whoever stole it from me! Then buy them a copy. This CD is good enough to share. // 10

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