Anti-Flag
For Blood And Empire


3.5
great

Review

by Michael Roberts USER (99 Reviews)
March 31st, 2006 | 66 replies | 21,778 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


8 of 10 thought this review was well written

Punk rock is a genre I have lost quite a bit of interest in over the last few years. I still recall my first Warped Tour in 04 being so excited to see The Bouncing Souls, Bad Religion and most importantly Anti-Flag. Since than, my taste in music has changed quite a bit, but I still enjoy a very small bit of Anti-Flag here and there. Anti-Flag is famous for their catchy riffs blended together with top of the industry bass lines, accompanied by a solid rhythm section, and most importantly, their distinct vocal delivery and lyrical subjects. Anti-Flag stresses two main things; unity and change. Boring it seems but wait until you see how it is presented.

Anti-Flag is...

Justin Sane - Vocals and Guitar
Chris #2 - Bass and Vocals
Chris Head - Guitar
Pat Thetic - Drums

One thing you will notice as the record begins is the bass is quite present. The second thing you will notice is it is great! Chris #2 lays down some great lines which complement the guitars very nicely. Anyone who was worried about a crazy sound change due to their major signing will be pleasantly surprised that this is not the case. It is just Anti-Flag as they have been for the last few albums for the most part; as Justin said, their major signing was a way to get their message heard louder and clearer.

The opening riff in I'd Tell You But� proves this to be very true. A darn catchy riff opens this song alone, as the rest of the band comes in a few seconds later. The dual vocal patterns in the verse work excellently as the song keeps in fast flow throughout. After the first chorus a solo whips through. Guitar solos are not often found in punk, but Anti-Flag has used them before to the fullest extent. The solo fits the song flawlessly. The second verse slows down a tad but its pace quickens as the chorus comes through for the final time. Chris #2 shines as his bass thumps through the outro. The first song ends with a bang, all that in only a mere 2:10.

The Press Corpse brings more classic sounding Anti-Flag to the table, nice chord progressions are played over number 2's line. It is not often that a guitar can play rhythm for a bass and pull it off but than again Anti-Flag is not your every day punk band. The bass is just absolutely fantastic in this song. The lyrics are presented in a very catchy manner about hiding lies.

But when the truth escapes the night and crawls into the day
We find the picture still askew

They don't want to... talk talk talk talk talk about it
They wanna tiptoe, walk around it
Wave the flag and mindlessly salute
They don't want to talk about it
They wanna tiptoe, walk around it
Wave the flag and cowardly salute


Once again the backing vocals are very present adding a great addition to the sound. Pat fills in with some great rolls and the whole band just seems to be rolling on this tune. It's almost impossible to not be impressed with this song's catchiness or to not hear its message loud and clear. Once again a great song.

The pace slows as Exodus comes into play. This song seems a little like filler to me. The lyrics could have been written a little better, especially in the chorus where it gets way to repetitive. It just comes off as more annoying than striking. No real guitar riffs are present but some cool little bass fills are in mix and they are about the only redeeming factor in this song.

Ah back to classic Anti-Flag style. "It's a gut check of what you believe" or just The Project For A New American Century . A nice riff is played in the intro. While the tempo is slower than the first two tracks, it works much better in this song. The lyrics are once again to their potential. They are about honesty in yourself and not being ashamed of it.

And it's a gut check of what you believe
Will you stand up for democracy?
or a New American Century?
Endless...
Endless violence, endless hatred
Endless empire tyranny
Will you make a stand for human dignity?
Or never ending hate?


The bridge for this song is pretty cool, made up of some hand claps and vocals. With something a little new working quite effectively, good lyrics, nice guitar work, and drums holding everything together tightly, The Project For A New American Century proves to be a great song.

The next few songs have a slightly different feel to them. They are more downbeat than the openers and even incorporate acoustic guitar, noticeably standing out in One Trillion Dollars . These tracks stand out as a little something different from the band, which is a good thing. In OTD the lyrics remind me of Alkaline Trio almost, very mellow sounding in terms of the way they are presented, and than realize how it is just masking the angst in the lyrics. Basically presenting sorrow in as cheerful of a way as possible. Once again Chris #2's bass stands out especially towards the end. The middle of the album really does not drag that much, despite its diverse pace from the beginning of the album.

From the opening notes of State Funeral you know the pace is going to quicken. #2 gets high up on his bass again, his tone is so great and his playing is truly a treat.
The chorus while appearing quite simple works very well.

A dead ringer for Armageddon
Dead ringer dead!
This State Funeral, we do not mourn


Once again the dual vocal pattern works great. They sure do know how to compliment each other and play of off each other's strengths, making this seemingly dull chorus a ride.

Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man is a pretty good track. The drums to a great job here, the fills are very memorable and well placed.

And it goes on and on and on and it goes on and on it goes
The iron fist for blood and empire, will make you move
And it goes on and on and on and it goes on and on it goes
The iron fist for blood and empire, will make you move
So dance with me


Ala, the album title in a song, pretty cool lyrics and a nice riff follows. The only flaw in this song is that it sounds very similar to what has already been done in the album. Aside from a little repetitiveness this is a good listen.

War Sucks, Let's Party! brings a new sound to the table. The guitar riff sounds danceable and synth like, adding a nice new flavor to the song. The lyrics are reminiscent of the subject of the Underground Network album.

It's unbelievable
It's unbelievable to watch the system crumble
This political shakedown, coming correct from the underground
This political shakedown, coming correct from the underground
We've been cut up
We've been shut up
For far too long, yeah!


It's always nice to find a new sound towards the end of an album as it keeps the listener entertained and shows the band�s diversity. While the chorus is presented in a catchy way, some of the verse lyrics don't have a very good flow to them and could be written better.

The W.T.O Kills Farmers sounds fairly standard for the band. There sure is some great bass playing going on throughout the song. Drums and guitar are all pretty basic but in the end work alright. The song does not bring a whole lot new to the album, but one noticeable factor is its bridge. It slows down per usual and Pat does a great job with the build up back into things before a little bass section. Overall this is not one of the best songs on the CD at all.

Cities Burn is a little predictable, the whoa ohs at the beginning, the drums rolls and the entire song for the most part. It feels like an average punk band until about halfway through when a very nice riff compliments some vocals. While the riff is good, it sounds very similar to the previous songs. The palm muted guitar breakdown/bridge was seen from a mile away, as were the whoa oh's until the songs end. A this point in the album I have realized two things.
1. I am starting to lose interest
2. Wow, I just listened to 12 straight songs from a punk band for the first time in years.

The fact that a genre I have lost major interest in has kept my interest for more than four songs is amazing. The fact that it is in double digits is out of this world.

Depleted Uranium Is A War Crime closes the album, the riffs over the chorus sound a different than some the previous. The guitar solo here is really something; once again a characteristic Anti-Flag can exercise quite well into a song. They have a lot of cut points in the song, where only bass, faint drums, and either newsflash�s or speeches or present. Nothing new that they haven't done before, but flows alright in the song as the album comes to a close.

This album surprised me very much. I used to be pretty into this band and than they seemed to fade away off of my playlist. This album will change that, especially when I am in the mood for the genre. There are plenty of redeeming qualities found in this album.

Pros...
+great bass playing
+guitar solos and riffs are well constructed
+Anti-Flag's signature tone and style is very present throughout
+this 13 track and almost 40 minute punk album kept my attention
+you do not have to be anti-bush or anything like that to enjoy this album

Cons...
-while riffs are well done, they are repetitive
-some filler songs are found
-towards the ends the album altogether gets a little replicate

Conclusion...

The pros outweigh the cons and I cannot stress enough how off guard this album caught me, mainly for in its genre. If you are into punk you most likely have picked this up already. If not and a punk mood strikes you, this album will not disappoint, this is a great album and is recommended.

Final Rating: 3.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
March 31st 2006



3243 Comments


good review but I'd recommend puttin your lyrics examples into different paragraphs as that would make it easier to read.

Evening Syndrome
March 31st 2006



15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, but if I may just contribute some construtive critism

-Don't use the word 'catchy' so much when describing a song ( I counted it at least a hlf-dozen times). Bust out a thesaurus, find an acronym or two and this will help the piece sound less repetative

-Look over the format and organiaztion of your piece and ensure that all is clear. Your paragraph format is somewhat 'iffy' at times.

-Try to incorporate less lyrics. As a reader, i just don't give a sh*t. I think I speak for most when i say that we skiped over that nonsense.

My opinion of the album is simple in that I got what I expected, a typical Anti-Flag album. Their tunes sound the exact same as a decade ago when they released "Die For The Government". Justins voice sounds a little whiney on this cd and to be honest, I'm really sick of hereing about how much America sucks. We know Bush is a douche and that this stupid war will never end. If they hate it so much, they can move to Canada.

CheersThis Message Edited On 03.31.06This Message Edited On 03.31.06

ToWhatEnd
March 31st 2006



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well thanks very much for the comments. I'm still learning how to write these reviews and I will definitely take those points into consideration next time.

grunge_lives_on75
March 31st 2006



13 Comments


Evening Syndrome
"-Try to incorporate less lyrics. As a reader, i just don't give a sh*t. I think I speak for most when i say that we skiped over that nonsense."

I didn't skip over the lyircs, dude. I think its good that he put lyrics in. It gives him crediblity in his writing.This Message Edited On 03.31.06

Evening Syndrome
March 31st 2006



15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

putting in lyrics are one thing, putting in enitre verses are another.

for example is writing,
A dead ringer for Armageddon
Dead ringer dead!
A dead ringer for Armageddon, yeah
Dead ringer dead!
A dead ringer for Armageddon
Dead ringer dead!
This State Funeral, we do not mourn
really necessary? I think I got the point after the first line. but hey, if reading the same things over again is enjoyble to you,by all means read what you enjoy. It's merely a suggestion, not a guideline, that I think will help his pieces in the future and make it more reader friendly.

Phill
April 10th 2006



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A good Review to go along with a good album.



fRiEdeL
April 11th 2006



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that it was well written, howevr, I don't like how you described the band as one who stresses "unity and change". They are an anti-war band who believes that through unity they can achieve their goals. Although it many not seem important, I think it is exremly important to accuratly describe a punk rock bands goals and opinions.

No_Effects
April 15th 2006



10 Comments


welll i dont care what people say, i have been an anti-flag fan since the beginning. People also didnt like Terror State, but i thought it was a very good album, this one isnt as good, but i think it is still good! good review also.

metallicaman8
April 17th 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I recently purchased this album and i rather enjoyed it

metallicaman8
April 17th 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh and nice review

Two-Headed Boy
April 17th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not a 4.2, but also not a c- (according to spin)

Maybe a 3.5

tom79
April 27th 2006



3364 Comments


comment edited!

um..I don't like anti-flag muchThis Message Edited On 05.19.07

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2006



15727 Comments


Wow, I'm surprised no one commented on the assholes before tom79 posted.

Well, let me wish you a happy banning, not that you care, seeing as you obviously joined the site to spam.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

kno_kontrol
April 30th 2006



448 Comments


pretty kicking album, all of their other albums seem to get old to me, but not this one. I can tell that this one is going to be around for a while. I only purchased this today (for 10 dollars, I guess their move to RCA was a pretty good thing, seeing as I can find it in target for such a cheap price), but Ive heard it enough to be able to tell that Its going to be around for quite a while

good review.

Mike
May 6th 2006



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You forgot to review Sing a Hymn For the Dead which was a great song. Overall it was a pretty good review, though.

metallicaman8
May 6th 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't mind these guys. Their not great thoughThis Message Edited On 05.06.06

circleofdeadchildren
May 6th 2006



119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review.this album is there greatest

ToWhatEnd
May 10th 2006



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm actually still listening to this. This definitely has the most longetivity IMO.

Shock
May 18th 2006



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Anti-Flag is good but some of their stuff is pretty repetative.


guns_of_brixton
May 22nd 2006



5 Comments


i don't really listen to Anit-Flag anymore, but I think I'll check this out. Nice review.



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