Rise Against
The Sufferer and the Witness


4.0
excellent

Review

by C I N A E D U S USER (21 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2011 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With 'The Sufferer and the Witness' Rise Against slowly begin to move away from their original hardcore punk label, yet they do it in style.

In many cases,the new wave of pop-punk is a rather dull, uninspired, mainstream style of music that is rendered abhorrent by many critiques. It’s not often you could find a band, even an album that holds a high amount of respect within the music industry under the new label of 'punk' yet Rise Against have done it. But what makes them so much different from the rest; from the average Good Charlotte or Fallout Boy? Raw energy, emotion, frantic chord progressions and emphatic singing all compile together to create a successful band. Rise Against maintain all of these quality characteristics, and they pass it through onto their fourth studio album, Sufferer and the Witness. With this record, Rise Against move slightly away from their original hard-core punk roots, yet nonetheless they syndicate their old style with their new to construct a very efficacious album.

What made Revolutions Per Minute and Siren Song so good, and so unique, was Tim McIlrath’s vocal efforts. His combination of clean, harsh and growled vocals fused together exquisitely. Tim’s exertions on this record are no exception, no matter how different to the brilliance that occurred on Rise Against’s earlier releases. This time around, his singing has become much easier to listen to, much radio-friendlier. Although the over-production of his naturally talented voice is at times cringe-worthy (best represented in “Under the Knife”) his original flair is sustained and preserved. On multiple occasions he elects to bark out screamed vocals, yet on this record they sound much more tried and practiced. During the breakdown on “Injection” listeners are provided with a brilliant train of singing and musicianship. When Tim belts out: ”Guide me/Through uncharted waters is where Rise Against are at their pivotal best. The lyrics, as anticipated, were brilliant, and they touched briefly yet sharply on political and environmental dangers that we all face. The usage of metaphors was another common theme that Rise Against used. To a mere new-comer who lacked experience with cryptic lyrics, the song The Good Left Undone would resemble a lyrical mess about flowers, and the listener would instantly assume Rise Against were retarded. However, if you look and ponder deeply at the lyrics of the track: I wrapped a hand around it’s stem/pulled until the roots gave in/ finding there what I’ve been missing you would find that this song is in fact about a broken relationship. Although the ideology behind some of their songs would strike depressed teenagers as attractive, Rise Against do it in such a sweet and subtle way that this theme merely adds to the overall atmosphere created by Tim McIlrath’s energetic vocals.

As you would find in most punk bands, the guitar work is nothing extraordinary. That being said, it gets its job done. Chris Chasse and Tim McIlrath form a formidable guitar duet, and their overlaying usages of power chords often complement each other very well. The guitar tone, which was rather messy in Sufferer and the Witness’s predecessors, has been cleaned up and for the better. In RPM’s verses, you would habitually find frantically strummed chord progressions which supplemented the singing in every way possible. This record lacks this accompaniment, and merely contains a frequenting bass-line with a few guitar notes here and there. Although this helps build an atmosphere for the -as-a-rule- catchy choruses, these verses are a step backwards from what was traditionally an urgent, briskly played rephrase. Beguiling choruses ensue these rather lacklustre verses, and all mutiny towards the band is lost when the musicianship reaches its climax during the chorus. “Behind Closed Doors” and “Worth Dying For,” withhold brilliant pieces of work during the pinnacle of the track.
The bass-work by Joe Principe is once again out-standing. The bass is heard more than ever throughout this album, which really helps move some of the sluggish songs along, such as “The Approaching Curve.”

Rise Against attempt a ballad in Sufferer and the Witness going by the name of “Roadside”. Compared to the sheer brilliance and emotion hidden within Rise Against’s hit “Swing Life Away,” “Roadside,” is uninventive, bland and lacks a punch. Rise Against endeavoured to find this kick by adding a cello solo, and a woman vocalist, yet these additions purely make the track drag on for even longer than necessary.

Rise Against may have lost some of the innovative energy and vigour that was seen in their early days, but it was replaced by the next best thing; vivid vocals, out-standing choruses and superb bass technique and skill. Sufferer and the Witness is an album all music-lovers need to lay their hands upon.

Recommended Tracks
The Good Left Undone
Behind Closed Doors
Worth Dying For
Injection



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


this is pretty bad, so critics fire away

Chrisjon89
September 3rd 2011


3625 Comments


I use to spin this all the time when it came out. I should give it another shot.

I wasn't too keen on The Approaching Curve, if that was the song with spoken word verses. Review is pretty good.

Mynameisluke
September 3rd 2011


82 Comments


oh hes just begging for cock in his mouth

Gyromania
September 3rd 2011


15706 Comments


I like this less and less as time goes on

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Cheers.
Yeah the approaching curve is the spoken word one, I dont really like it, although the lyrics are good.

Its not a bad album, imo nowhere near as good as the others.
Endgame is catchier than this but this is better written

BigShark
September 3rd 2011


58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"His combination of clean, harsh and growled vocals fused together exquisitely." It's been a long time since I've listened to their stuff, but I don't remember any growled vocals. Other than that, good review.



DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Growled, eh screamed, like in injection. I know its not really growing but I wanted a more descriptive word than screaming.

Gyromania
September 3rd 2011


15706 Comments


Btw, this:

"In many cases, punk is a rather dull, uninspired, mainstream style of music that is rendered abhorrent by many critiques. It’s not often you could find a band, even an album that holds a high amount of respect within the music industry under the label of ‘punk,’ yet Rise Against have done it."

Is complete bs.

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


I was referring to fallout boy, good charlotte punk, not good punk.
I'll change it

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Alright I fixed it so its applying to the new wave of punk; (most punk bands used to be good; green day, but have dropped off)

porch
September 3rd 2011


8460 Comments


yeah Dude remember back in the good old days when green day and offspring invented Punk

thumps up if u agree

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


:thumbs: lol youTube.

back in the day, now all punk is pretty shit.

Tyrael
September 3rd 2011


20876 Comments


yeah Dude remember back in the good old days when green day and offspring invented Punk

thumps up if u agree

Almost pissed my pants when I read this

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Hahaha, youtube has no clue, theres only 127 dislikes for Animal by nickelback, and like 50000 likes.

porch
September 3rd 2011


8460 Comments


Who The fuck Is nickelshit never heard of them yea thats right u heard me i only listen 2 real punk nothing else . .



DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Who The fuck Is nickelshit never heard of them yea thats right u heard me i only listen 2 real punk nothing else . .

Hahaha.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2011


23818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah Dude remember back in the good old days when green day and offspring invented Punk

thumps up if u agree


hahahaha porch, i love your posts

also, that summary fucking sucks, but the review is solid


DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


lmao, i had no idea what I was doing with that summary
ill change it

DarthMann
September 3rd 2011


13815 Comments


Alright fixed it

Mynameisluke
September 3rd 2011


82 Comments


lol who would pos this shit



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