New Maps of Hell - Bad Religion

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. It finds that the guys don't just still have it, but they sound goddamn rejuvenated, bristling with electric energy and undeniable fervor.
  2. New Maps is a terrific sounding record; at least two-thirds of it begs many repeated listens.
  3. 'New Dark Ages,' with its layered background harmonies, wall-of-sound instrumentation, and quietly propulsive drumming, is a 27-year career in a nutshell.
  4. The venerable outfit opens New Maps Of Hell, its 14th full-length, with a 58-second song inexplicably dubbed "52 Seconds"—and it's a ravenous blast of hardcore that swipes a riff from Black Flag's "Rise Above" before leading into tracks that range from anemic (the plodding "Honest Goodbye") to anthemic ("Fields Of Mars," one of the best songs the band has recorded in ages).
  5. The album is closer to the thrash end of their style then the folk, and the music reflects the anger in the songs brilliantly.
  6. There’s a heavy metal fence around much of New Maps of Hell that does sometimes feel new, or at least like revitalization of old habits.
  7. It's business as usual for Bad Religion, the US punk rock stalwarts recently restored to full power with the return of guitarist Brett Gurewitz. [Sep 2007, p.100]
  8. 60
    The tagets haven't changed much, and Bad Religion still hits them hard. [Aug 2007, p.98]
  9. On Maps, BR breathe new life into their formula--short, fast and melodic Cali skate-punk ditties led by the always politically and socially aware growlings of lead singer Greg Graffin.
  10. There's plenty of the driving, impassioned melodic hardcore that Bad Religion pretty much invented, but there is very little on this record to separate them from the vapid snowboard-video pop-punk that is their unfortunate legacy.
  11. It does nothing to distinguish itself from other BR releases and some of the premier punk albums released in the past few years, but it also can immediately trump most of the stuff being put out these days on the virtue of BR's tight and likable style.

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