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Music Review: Rise Against – Appeal To Reason

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Rise Against, one of America’s most popular hardcore bands, has released one of the best albums of 2008 with Appeal To Reason. The album is the group’s third major studio release, following up on their 2006 hit album, The Sufferer & the Witness.

The band has one of the most distinct sounds from the punk-rock genre, combining musical elements from all around the genre to form a unique, truly encapsulating sound. Appeal To Reason is another stellar album that reinforces that fact: an incredible listen with the “it” factor that so many Rise Against songs have.

One of the best song types on this album are the mid-paced songs, such as “Long Forgotten Sons.” These songs have incredibly catchy, sometimes-clashing instrumentals that add an incredible dimension to Tim Mcllrath’s vocals. Mcllrath also seems to stray away from screaming, and instead weaves his one-of-a-kind vocals as they mesh into the melody supporting him. For these reasons, Appeal To Reason could be a great choice for music lovers looking to diversify their musical tastes, extending out to the punk rock/hardcore genre.

This album is full of energy and heart, and much of this is truly found in the instrumentation. Fairly unpredictable but also fascinating, the tempo changes often and the intensity of some songs changes drastically. Zach Blair and Joe Principe combine to form an incredible guitarist duo, and the riffs are advanced and more common than ever.

It is fairly modest when compared with previous Rise Against albums, forming a foundation on the mid-paced songs. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this, lifelong fans of the band may miss the aggressive, heavier tones that have been present on many of the previous Rise Against albums. Widely known for their hardcore songs and lyrics, those expecting the same on this album will undoubtedly be disappointed.

All in all, this is a stellar album in the punk rock/hardcore genre. Rise Against’s highest charting album, the album debuted on the Billboard 200 at #3. If you’re looking for a great, high-energy listen, pick up a copy of the band’s newest album. It will undoubtedly make for an engaging listen.

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  • Dave

    I found the album to be sophomoric and lacking the traditional sounds of the group. It seems that McIlrath has spent much of his lyrical wit on preaching to the public instead of providing the alternative vision as presented in other albums. Due to this it is no where near as thought provoking as previous work by the group.

    Most of the music is predictable and lacks the variation expected from a group that has shown its talent in the past.