Review Summary: Although not a return to their original Hardcore Punk status, it is a step in the right direction.
Appeal to Reason was Rise Against's official departure from their unique hardcore punk genre, and Endgame is not their return. That being said, it is definitely an improvement from the at best lackluster 'Appeal to Reason.' Tim McIlrath's singing is much improved in their latest album Endgame. Although it isn't a RPM or Siren Song, it is a step in the right direction.
Tim's vocals are brilliant at times in Endgame. In AtR the singing was much too clean, and to be honest lame. There was a certain lack of Tim's scream that is heard most notably in his side band, 'The Killing Tree'. There are small patches of growling in Endgame which certainly livens the album up. The Disparity by Design bridge is a good example of when he uses his diverse voice to scream. As always there is a lot of backing vocals behind Tim's lead, especially in the choruses. This occurs in nearly all of the songs, most notably in Help is on the Way and Wait for Me.
The structure of the songs are all similar, and much like Appeal to Reason many of the verses lack substance the roots of Rise Against had (The exceptions being Disparity by Design and This is Letting Go). When listening to one of their verses -which usually contains the occasional guitar and bass- the listener is often left wondering whether or when the song explodes. Which is when they hit the chorus. On the most part, the choruses in Endgame are unbelievably catchy and will leave anyone singing 'Architects' in the back of their mind. This is where Endgame departs from Appeal to Reason, as AtR's choruses are for the most part mediocre. Another place where Rise Against decide to pick up the pace is during the bridge, where the entire story (the lyrical genius behind Rise Against's lyrics is once again at his best) breaks down. This is best noted in Wait for Me and Satellite.
The guitar is similar to that of Appeal to Reason, with a few melodic tendencies to make Endgame rise above mediocrity. The songs are consistent with the exception of Midnight Hands. Endgame is merely a compilation of the best of Sufferer and the Witness and Appeal to Reason. That being said, it is still a good album and there is enough hints of the good Rise Against that fans can get hopeful.
Wait For Me
This is Letting Go
Solid review - especially for a first. For further reference, words can be italicized or bolded by using [i ] and [ /i] or [b ] and [b/ ] but without the spaces. Use them for album titles - makes the entire review look neater and more professional =)
Oh, and welcome to the site! Hope to see more from you around here!