Rise Against
Appeal to Reason


3.0
good

Review

by Chris Davanzo USER (12 Reviews)
May 11th, 2010 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rise Against spin out of control...

“Siren Song Of The Counter Culture” launched the Chicago natives Rise Against into the center fold of the punk rock scene. “The Sufferer & The Witness” initiated the bands rise to the mainstream. What does “Appeal To Reason," Rise Against’s fifth studio album, do? Absolutely nothing…

The greatest knock against "Appeal to Reason" is the lack of diversity within the songs. For a large portion of the album, Rise Against sticks to the same type of sound that gained them critical acclaim from Siren Song Of The Counter Culture and The Sufferer and the Witness. However, this formula starts to get old.
A minimal amount of tracks stand out from the rest. There are just too many “standard” Rise Against tracks that hardly make any of them identifiable amongst the others. The intros of “Collapse (Post-Amerika)” and “Long Forgotten Sons” sound extremely similar, and these are the very first two songs on the album. The choruses of “From Heads Unworthy” and “The Strength To Go On” also fall into the same trap. If not for Tim McIlrath’s vocals, the two songs might actually be mistakened to be the same. Are the songs catchy? Yes. But so is typical material heard on the radio. There’s no “State Of The Union” on here.

Rise Against also fails to stray away from its political views and this type of identity bogs down their progression as a band. Their anti-war protests do not have the same energy that made “Siren Song Of The Counter Culture” so compelling. It’s understood: Rise Against is a very political band. But it would not hurt to craft songs that deal with other themes that compliment the anti-war objections instead of constantly writing politically-dominated albums.

“Appeal To Reason” is not without its moments of "appeal." “Savior” almost rescues the album by itself by actually delving into the theme of love, and a sad love at that. The chorus is a strong reminder that the band can still be passionate about its music, even if it not reflected throughout the entire record.

“Hero Of War,” however, is arguably the standout track on the entire album. Some may completely criticize the song for some appalling lyrics during parts of the track while others may praise it as a great song for the emotional pull other lyrics might provide. While the song does have some terrible moments, such as the vulgar moment where the soldiers capture the man and beat him, etc., this song is a powerful track that weaves several episodes about American soldiers in times of war. The two verses that link the soldier firing on the “enemy” woman carrying a white flag is one of the most riveting moments on the entire album.

“Appeal To Reason” is not an accomplishment by Rise Against. Sadly, they take a step backwards. In yet another attempt to produce protest hits, this once hard-hitting, tooth-and-nail punk rock band seems to have lost its way. Sure, Rise Against may still be the band that fans fell in love with years ago. But how long will fans be willing to listen to the same tunes and sounds over and over again before they lose that love?

Recommended Tracks

Savior
Hero Of War
Kotov Syndrome
Re-Education (Through Labor)



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user ratings (1729)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Green Baron (2.5)
    An album with little appeal, little reasoning behind its lack of quality, and worst of all...

    Davey Boy STAFF (4.5)
    The same base punk rock aesthetic as always, just in a more melodic and slickly produced p...

    JumpTheF**kUp (2.5)
    Musically identical to past works, but lacking the passion that set them above the rest of...

    Corey (4)
    Rise Against release yet another solid album and take a step in the right direction . They...

  • YeahBaby (4.5)
    Its great to know the future of punk rock lies in a band as dedicated to combining the ele...

    John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF (3.5)
    A generally great record, featuring some of the best songs Rise Against have written, with...

    Julio Babilonia (3.5)
    Appeal To Reason won’t redefine the genre, it won’t be a classic, it won’t be hailed...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2010


16139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just heard this album and so far i love it.

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

maidenpmcc
May 11th 2010


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought this album was pretty good but definately not on par with Siren or The Sufferer.

Emim
May 11th 2010


26625 Comments


Hero of War is a great song...minus the lyrics.

fr33convict
May 11th 2010


11689 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's OK but I can't stand Hero Of War. It's just so... wrong.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2010


16139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i wish the lyrics weren't terrible. i like the sound of the song, but i feel like a douchebag every time i listen to it

OllieS
May 11th 2010


2031 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I honestly cannot remember a thing about this album

Locrian
May 11th 2010


1003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. I'm not sure what to think about Hero of War, it doesn't really have much of an impact on me either way. McIlrath needs to learn how to adapt his voice to that type of song, though.

renegadestrings
May 11th 2010


1447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm glad someone else shares my views with Hero of War... it has the one slip-up of "they pissed in his hands," which was supposed to be powerful... but just sounds completely displaced.
anyways, good review. the only tracks that have stuck with me are Re-Education, Kotov, and Whereabouts

maidenpmcc
May 11th 2010


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Apart from how Hero of War sounds and it's lyrics, does anyone actually like the message in the song?

Locrian
May 11th 2010


1003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Undoubtedly there have been a few soldiers who acted that way, but the vast majority are loyal and courageous. I think the song kind of gives a bad name to that majority without meaning to.

Satellite
May 11th 2010


20818 Comments


What does “Appeal To Reason” do, Rise Against’s fifth studio album?

Pretty sure you meant "...Appeal to Reason, Rise Against's fifth studio album, do?"

By the way, album titles are italicized, not quoted. Good review, though.

CrisStyles
May 11th 2010


767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I tried italicizing them and it wasn't working for me so I just quoted them.

ninjuice
May 11th 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Apart from how Hero of War sounds and it's lyrics, does anyone actually like the message in the song?

The band have actually said it's meant to be supporting the troops. I thought it was the exact opposite until a statement released along with or around the time the video was posted online.

Satellite
May 11th 2010


20818 Comments


They took off his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again


How is that "supporting the troops"? I don't care how they try to spin it after the fact, that song is blatant America-is-evil propaganda.

Cesar
May 11th 2010


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It was clear to me it was an anti war statement, not an anti troop statement. If anything he is trying to relate the sad story some soldiers have to go through in war. Is meant for us to feel bad for the soldier (specifically the "good" soldier) and create and anti-war state of mind.

Sort of a "This is what war does to people" kind of thing.

Satellite
May 11th 2010


20818 Comments


If anything he is trying to relate the sad story some soldiers have to go through in war.

Okay, but he (in all likelihood) doesn't know shit. The example he uses is 100% fabricated.

Satellite
May 11th 2010


20818 Comments


For the record I'm a) completely anti-war and b) sort of a longtime fan of this band, but that song really irks me.

Cesar
May 11th 2010


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That I will give you. Although supposedly he is basing the lyrics on real account by soldiers, but yeah I'm sure he has no first hand experience.

rogerdiscoversherpes
May 11th 2010


34 Comments


Been a Rise Against fan since the beginning (The Unravelling). Only two albums haven't really hit the mark with me - Siren Song Of The Counter Culture and this. I'd definitely say this is their weakest effort. All very samey and uninspired. "Entertainment" is really the standout track for me though - the only thing I really go back to this album to listen to.

Parallels
May 11th 2010


6641 Comments


ive been digging RPM like crazy lately. nice



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