Sound — 8
On Rise Against's sixth studio effort they sound extremely enthusiastic and ready for action. With what seems to be a mostly political drive, they put together powerful songs, although they are getting more and more mainstream. Most songs start off fresh but then take a familiar approach for Rise Against, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure they are following the same formula from Appeal to Reason, but if you like that formula, then it is a great thing. The first standout track is Architects which is a great way to start off the album. It is a great hype-inducing song with a catchy chorus to it. Unlike most people I've talked to, Help is On The Way is not one of the greatest tracks on this album. Yes, it is a decent song but these guys aren't a couple of teenagers anymore, and these lyrics (the mediocre chorus) are certainly aimed at youths. I would have thought Rise Against has done enough of these. Satellite however, picks the album up again, and is another eye catcher with an epic feel to it. The opening of Survivor Guilt surely makes you think, although thankfully the song isn't preaching anything. Midnight Hands shows a different side of Rise Against, one I wish they showed more of. They take a metal approach in this song with powerful emotion to back it up. Overall, Rise Against has some very good songs in here - as well as some just average ones.
Lyrics — 9
Mcllrath is a great lyricist and a wonderful singer. He has got a good range going for him and a very likeable pronunciation of words such as "life" and "lines." Most songs on this album are politically backed but a good handful are more emotional, ranging from the usual teenage anxiety to reminiscing about ones past. Questions arise about the band's views on the supposed apocalypse and the future of America, none of which are answered but seem to be cleverly avoided in Endgame. If these songs were written a year leader, I'm sure Mcllrath would have found a ton more inspiration from what has gone on in Egypt and Libya to the Tsunami in Japan.
Overall Impression — 9
Although I don't think Endgame quite lives up to their last studio album, Appeal to Reason, Endgame remains a solid album and a great listen. They are probably one of the best punk bands right now and are probably the most determined and sure of themselves. Rise Against are becoming more mainstream however, foregoing most of their old screaming vocals and many fast paced songs, which must be dissappointing for some. I however, praise them for staying alive and still being able to deliver quality music.