Sound — 9
Well to start things of, Rise Against are one of the most awe inspiring groups I have come across. I am not a fan of punk music and I agree that Rise Against previous albums didn't quite sound accessible to various avid music listeners. But with Sufferer & The Witness, Rise Against have really hit the spot. Their sound is very addictive, as this album has a variety of guitar works going off throughout the album. Songs like "Bricks" are more punk than usual but songs like "Ready to Fall" and "Prayer of the Refugee" are more adapt to listeners on the radio and TV. Well to me the music of this album is amazing; it is best experienced at high volumes. I must say that Rise Againsts music is definitely different and thus I find it hard to compare them to other bands. But Rise Against have a unique vocalist, Tim McIlrath. This guys is just different, as the album progresses you will find his voice change constantly, and by the time it comes to the song "Roadside, you will be amazed. But if you have been a fan of Rise Against from the early years than you may find them a little different from who they were before. Their music is now more mainstream. So if you liked "Siren Song of the Counter Culture" than you will love this album. 100% guaranteed.
Lyrics — 10
Now moving on to the lyrics, if you have known Rise Against before than you may know they have political agendas in their lyrics. That's what they are mostly known for. But in my case I found them easier to relate to in terms of personal issues. Fans claim that nearly all of their songs are politically motivated, but if you are an open minded listener than you will find that the lyrics can be related to other aspects of your life. But in terms of lyrics in this album, I must say that Rise Against are very melodic and the way McIlrath sings out the words makes you just want keep listening over and over again. The way McIlrath speaks the verses on "The Approaching Curve" gives a twist to the standards which bands seem to follow now days. I personally applause McIlraths vocals as he has a unique sound and the way he sings will captivate anyone's attention if they are willing to listen to something new. McIlrath screams at certain points throughout the album, but he follows up with a melodic verse to compensate it. According to the album title, you will find that all the lyrics fit in some way or the other. Their meanings may seem vague to you at the beginning, but in time it will grow on you. When you are able to understand what the lyrics mean, you will find a thing called HOPE amongst these lyrics. No matter how angst ridden or how heart breaking, but amidst all this Tim McIlraths brings signs of hope to all the listeners. Hope that things will be alright and a hope that someday things will change.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I must say that this is a must buy album. It has just about all the elements a listener could want. Amazing lyrics from an amazing vocalist. A variety of music styles present throughout the album and the great emotions you will feel when you learn to fully understand what this album is about. I like all the songs in this album but "The Good Left Undone" seems to appeal to me more than the other songs. The lyrics of this song have helped my through my personal life. I found solace in the lyrics of this song. So basically I love every aspect of this album the lyrics and the music is of exceptional quality. But one thing seems to pull this album down is the amounts of change Rise Against have gone through since their first record. My one recommendation would be to keep a little of those elements present in the new records that they release. This will be a sure fire way to ensure that Rise Against don't lose their loyal fan base. So if you are thinking of buying this album, and if you like melodic songs with a touch of hardcore and punk added to the mix, this is surely the album for you.