Bad Religion - Empire

When a band generates a strong following, based on a particular sound they have, fans tend to be alienated if they ever 'lose' that sound. More so, it is very rare that a band can recapture their sound once it is lost. I'm am glad to say Bad Religion are the exception to this rule. No Substance and The New America, while they were very accomplished albums in their own right, did not have that something special about the sound that made The Gray Race and Stranger than Fiction so popular. There were remnants of that special sound in The Process Of Belief. With 'Empire', that special sound is back. The boys are still inventive, creative, still lyrically the most powerful band I have heard, and have also managed to recapture a special spark that should have old fans returning, and new ones coming along for the ride. A fantastic album both lyrically and musically. 'Empire' is a diverse collection of belting tunes, and some great melodies vocally.


The album starts with some older style, short thrashing songs. Sinister Rouge, Atheist Peace and Social Suicide are all reminders that Bad Religion can still rock. The first single from the album, Los Angeles Is Burning is a great track, good melodic singing and catchy guitar throughout the song.


The second half of this record slows down a bit and almost takes a new direction. Musically very interesting, but probably not the sort of direction that older fans would enjoy. The title track is terrific, albeit nothing new. The topic of the lyrics is clearly the US and its tendencies towards war, obviously an issue that Bad Religion feel strongly about, and the song does not let the album down.


This is certainly not the best album Bad Religion have ever produced, however it is on the right track. They stick with what they know, make great catchy songs, and Greg Graffin's lyrics are impeccable as always.

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