Bad Religion
The Process of Belief


3.0
good

Review

by Ben Jimenez USER (36 Reviews)
February 11th, 2007 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The Process of Belief" is Bad Religion's twelfth album. The album is a return to form, a return to Epitaph, and contains the return of Brett Gurewitz. A stronger pop-punk feel with satisfying results.

Bad Religion is usually to blame for directing youth toward the punk rock scene. I remember when I brought home my copy of “Suffer,” with its album art containing a boy on fire with a cross through a cross on the back of his shirt. I was lectured by my parents and forced to return it back to the record store the next day. Of course, this only fueled my desire to listen to punk rock, and I ensured that my copies of “How Could Hell Be Any Worse?” and “Against the Grain” would remain untouched beneath my bed. When I eventually purchased “The Process of Belief,” the cover art was subtle, and easily made its way into my room. Turns out it was too subtle for my friends.

At the time of my purchase, the title track “Sorrow” had been playing consistently on the local radio station KROQ in Los Angeles. My friends, who listened to NOFX, The Adicts, and Clit .45, heard its slow (unacceptable!) melodies and immediately began their criticisms of how “not punk” the new Bad Religion album sounded. I immediately crumbled under their sneering and conservatively replaced “The Process of Belief” in my CD player with “Punk in Drublic.” However, today I realize that the single was not a completely accurate indicator of the entire album. Bad Religion has taken a much more educated approach to condemning a human race that constantly makes the same poor decisions that pervade our society. Though there is an unusually significant pop feel to “The Process of Belief,” it is certainly more punk than my friends could have ever imagined.

Did someone say fast songs and ferocious beats with provocative lyrics? That is usually a staple of Bad Religion, and they bring the quick instruction on the first three songs of the album, “Supersonic,” “Prove It,” and “Can’t Stop It.” The beginning of the album is excellent, as it develops a pace fit for a circle pit. However, the album changes pace too many times. From “Broken” to “Destined for Nothing,” the themes are relatively similar, with social struggle and our futile existence, but the music does not seem as fluid. “Broken” is much slower, feels like a ballad, and addresses different situations, whereas “Destined for Nothing” is angry and focused. Songs like “Materialist” and “Kyoto Now” have decent, catchy music with vocal harmonies, but the lyrics are not nearly as impressive as the rest of Bad Religion’s masterful works.

Although there are a few kinks in the album, there are catchy and relevant tracks that add to the album’s quality. “Sorrow” and “Epiphany” complement one another as slower pop-punk songs that work well as messages of the ignorance of man. The same can be said for “The Defense” and “The Lie,” as they can open ignorant eyes to the world’s madness, if it is not already apparent. The music is not a departure from Bad Religion’s common sound, and Greg Graffin’s vocals have slightly improved with age.

“The Process of Belief” is not Bad Religion at their best, but it is a worthwhile listen and does a suitable job of conveying Graffin’s concerns about the world. I’m the one who now criticizes my friends as they keep their narrow-minded opinions about Bad Religion. They will never concede that Bad Religion can function well as an evolved pop-punk presence, especially now that my mom enjoys the music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
February 11th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice work, I'm quite fond of this. The Empire Strikes First destroys it though.

clairvoyant
February 11th 2007


765 Comments


Good review. Havent heard the album though.

tom79
February 11th 2007


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Much better than the other review, nice job. Sorrow is great, but this is one of the BR albums I still need...

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Intransit
February 11th 2007


2797 Comments


I agree with THB. You are becoming a really good reviewer.

MrKite
February 11th 2007


5020 Comments


Nice review. This is a band I have yet to seriously listen to. I plan to eventually, though.

descendents1
February 11th 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks for the comments everyone

MrKite i suggest, when the day comes that you have time for Bad Religion, that you start with "No Control" and "Suffer" to prepare you for "The Empire Strikes First"

RazorBladeLight
June 21st 2007


258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is still great even today. I cannot believe that an album where almost everything sounds the same can keep me satisfied. The Lie is the best track off of this. It is the only Bad Religion album I've ever picked up, but I figure that for someone not really into punk rock music, it's enough

descendents1
June 21st 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you ever decide that listening to more than 1 Bad Religion album is a good idea, please listen to Against the Grain. Then you'll say "Holy ****in' *** crackers" and pick up Suffer, No Control, and Generator soon after.

RazorBladeLight
June 21st 2007


258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been told almost the same thing, only that they told me that Suffer would do that for me. I intend on doing so, but I always change my mind in the last minute

Douchebag
February 18th 2009


3624 Comments


" was lectured by my parents and forced to return it back to the record store the next day"

lol you had crazy parents bro! I loved the empire strikes first, and hopefully I can listen to New Maps soon.

Willie
Moderator
February 18th 2009


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Bad Religion is usually to blame for directing youth toward the punk rock scene.
This band was my gateway to punk. In fact, it was the "Suffer" album too. My parents didn't care though.

Suffer, No Control, Against the Grain and Generator are all awesome. It's nuts that they released four phenomenal albums in a row.This Message Edited On 02.18.09

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StrizzMatik
May 19th 2010


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know how any real BR fan can give this a 3 considering the three average-to-horrible records preceding it. It's probably one of the best comeback records I can remember of the last decade, and definitely the best of their post-Atlantic material as I find it edges out TESF a bit.

Willie
Moderator
May 19th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Even if this had come right after Generator or even Against the Grain it still would have been an awesome album. The fact that it came after those shit-Atlantic albums just makes it more of a surprise.

Raz0rGrind23
May 20th 2010


423 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best Bad Religion Album Hands Down.....

fatlip27
May 22nd 2010


246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"My friends, who listened to NOFX, The Adicts, and Clit .45, heard its slow (unacceptable!) melodies and immediately began their criticisms of how “not punk” the new Bad Religion album sounded."

It is amazing how many people hate when punk bands decide to slow it down on any given album. I understand that punk is supposed to be played fast (I'm guilty for thinking this way for many, many years), but Bad Religion can release an experimental/electronica album and it will always be considered punk to me.

When I saw them live in San Diego, on back-to-back days, they finished both sets with "Sorrow." That says a lot, no?

StrizzMatik
May 23rd 2010


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I mean, this album doesn't necessarily have their best songs front-to-back, but there isn't one lackluster song on it and it flows better than any album they've done IMO, hence why I agree with Mr. Brett in calling this "the ultimate Bad Religion record". Anyone here check out The BR Page? Best resource for song meanings, bullshit info, fan tributes, even a BR Lexicon for those three-dollar-words =D



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