Review Summary: Appeal To Reason won’t redefine the genre, it won’t be a classic, it won’t be hailed as Rise Against's best album, but it will successfully provide a great fun listen that will have the listener coming back to it every once in a while
After the punk titans from Chicago exploded into the mainstream with their album The Sufferer and the Witness
, and help from the Guitar Hero franchise, many of the old fans feared that this would impact the new album. The obvious cry of “They better not sell out” (whatever that really means) could be heard constantly, not really believing it, but more as a prayer to appease the apprehensiveness. Now that Appeal To Reason
hit the light, people worrying can sleep better at night.
This album is the natural result of the road the band is playing in. It follows the line established in The Sufferer and the Witness
(TSTW), with less hardcore and more melody. Playing with honesty and loving what they do, saying what they want to say, and preventing themselves to be caught in their new found fame. From the first track, Collapse
, the band demonstrates that they are still the same band they were in TSTW and that they are still playing their music with the same passion they always did. It is a powerful tune full of energy, that will have you tapping your fingers without even realizing it, and by the time the second chorus comes around you’ll be singing along.
The band however, starts showing signs of “Bad Religion Syndrome”. The syndrome is highlighted by one specific symptom, all the songs start sounding the same. Appeal To Reason
doesn’t fall victim to this syndrome in its essence, but it does have something similar to it. In the block of songs between Re-Education
and Hero Of War
is where this problem takes it's place. The songs kind of flow together, with none standing out much from the rest, and unless you are really listening to the album you can listen to that block of songs and not make out one from the other. Don’t take me wrong, the songs are great individually, are different in certain ways, and even as a group they have their impressive moments, but generally they don’t have much to set them apart. Aside from suffering from a lack of variety, the album also suffers from some inconsistency. It starts off strong, pulling back a little through the middle, and blowing the listener away in the last 4 songs. There are too many mid-tempo songs, and if that wasn’t enough, about 1/3 of the album is lacking the angst and the edge, in Tim’s vocals.
Apart from that, Appeal To Reason
is another great Rise Against release, that demonstrates the band is not going anywhere and is still the one we fell in love with. Anyone that still doubts Rise Against ability to still create amazing punk anthems just has to listen to Savior
to be proved wrong. The passion for their music is still present, their honesty, and their will to send a message like in the love-or-hate song Hero Of War
. An album that will only grow on you, Appeal To Reason
won’t redefine the genre, it won’t be a classic, it won’t be hailed as Rise Against's best album, but it will successfully provide a great fun listen that will have the listener coming back to it every once in a while.
Hero Of War