The Sufferer & the Witness review by Rise Against

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jul 28, 2006
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (241 votes)
Rise Against: The Sufferer & the Witness

Sound — 9
I'll admit that I was slightly apprehensive about this album when it first came out. Siren Song of the Counter Culture was very slick in comparison to their first two albums, but, with that said, I'm going to say this: this album is now my favorite album of theirs. It sounds like your typical Rise Against, but there's one more added element: it's more melodic. The last three certainly were, but this one seems to have more of it. It's great, and really shows on tracks such as "Behind Closed Doors," and "Survive." At the same time, it also has your straight up punk songs, like "Bricks" one of the many stand-outs on the album. On occasion has some old-school Offspring elements about it, with choruses and hooks in "Injection," "World Worth Dying For," and "Ready To Fall." It even goes a little mellow on a track like "Roadside." It still has your precise guitar riffs, pounding drums, and pulsating basslines, like the other albums, with a little more of a melodic flare thrown in. It's exquisite. However, there are a couple of faults with it. I found that "Roadside" didn't really fit with the rest of the album, which was pure adrenaline. It's a pretty song, but a bit too slow for this album.

Lyrics — 9
I was really impressed with the lyrics on this album. Most of them are excellent, but that's how Rise Against lyrics usually are. They are poetic and brillant, describing things like a person standing with a broken bottle in hand, or just sheer emotion. Or angst, I suppose. "Drones" is one of my favorite songs on this disc, if just for the lyrics. They are intensely political, and socially commenting, which is to be expected. Tim McIlrath's vocals lend themselves well to the emotion which is necessary for the songs to work, which includes some screaming from time to time. They are well done.

Overall Impression — 9
Until I got this disc, the Unraveling was my favorite Rise Against album. Now, I say otherwise. It is kind of different from the Unraveling, Revolutions Per Minute and Siren Song, but it is great in its own right. Upon repeated listens, I find that "Drones" and "Bricks" are among the most impressive songs on it, for both lyrically, and musically. I love the upbeat adrenaline rush that this albums delivers, I think that's why I'm slightly addicted to it. If this album was stolen or lost (unlikely) I would immeadiately stop whatever it was I was doing and buy it again. It has become an essential part of my CD collection, I can't imagine it without it.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i hate punk but i love rise against. like obsessivly. so if their punk, then they must be some kick ass strain of punk ive never heard of before
    ive only heard about this band through their latest album...i really like the new album and all but one song have grown on me..but i wanna know if they hav heavier stuff in their older maybe more screaming? anyways love the album and its a great band