Bad Religion The Empire Strikes First
Guitar, Backing vocals
Bass, Backing vocals
Guitar, Backing vocals
Bad Religion are back, and have produced a hard-hitting album, entitled "The Empire Strikes First"?. It may not be the best name for an album, in my opinion, but don’t judge a book by a cover as they say. This is a GREAT album. I first heard songs from it when I saw Bad Religion back in May. They had "Overture"? on loop for 10 minutes before they came on (no exaggeration there) and played "Sinister Rouge"? and "The Empire Strikes First"?. It was hearing "Sinister Rouge"? mainly that made me crave this album.
The album opens up with a frankly cool drumbeat, and then at the end, blasts into "Sinister Rouge"? with fast-paced guitars, thumping drums and "Ahhhh"?s from Jay, Brett and Brian. Soon after, a song that begins with a similar sound as "Ten In 2010"? begins, and this is another trademark Bad Religion song, with a true recognizable BR sound.
The album is full of songs that the second you press play on your CD player, you’ll instantly know it’s a Bad Religion song. They have experimented on one or two songs, "Athiest Priest"? for the bridge, and "Beyond Electric Dreams"?. This doesn’t bring down the quality of this album, that we have waited two years for. It shows that the two years have been worth it.
There are countless solos on the album, which is more than Metallica can say, after their fans had to wait 5 years for an album (that doesn’t include their "S&M"? album.) and were presented with nothing exactly spectacular. The drumming in this album fits in really well with the songs. The drumming doesn’t consist of one beat throughout the song. Brooks mixes it up, and adds random fills here and there. The basslines are standard, as they always have been. This in no way means the songs are bad. If you think about it, the lack of technicality in Jay’s basslines fit in with BR songs. If you placed a Matt Freeman-style bassline in there, I’ll be honest and say it wouldn’t sound like as good.
What about the vocals? Well, what can I say? Greg has an outstanding voice. I am a big fan of his singing. The backing-vocals are also those that add a little something more to the songs.
It’s safe to say, that with Greg’s voice, Brooks’ drumming skill, the quality of the guitars from Brian, Greg H and Brett and also the basslines from Jay, that you are left with a classic punk band. One that shall still be around for years to come.
Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever
Los Angeles Is Burning
This is an impressive album, as Bad Religion continue to show they are capable to write catchy songs, as well as sell-out venues across the globe. This album easily gets a 5/5.
On a side note, I can’t believe NO Bad Religion albums have been reviewed before. Quite shocking really.