The Empire Strikes First Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: The veteran Southern California hardcore punk band returns with--as you may have guessed from the title--a political-themed disc, complete with carefully-footnoted lyrics.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. 91
    Good records from the Descendents and Bad Religion in one year? Joe Strummer's ghost must be keeping close watch. [Jul 2004, p.110]
  2. One of its most charged and inspired records in years.
  3. 80
    This is the band at their melodious best. [Jun 2004, p.112]
  4. While not as edgy as The Process of Belief, it is more complex and better produced.
  5. Bad Religion sound more relevant than ever on their incendiary, political manifesto The Empire Strikes First.
  6. The Empire Strikes First isn't a return to Bad Religion at its most vitriolic and unstoppable -- whether that could ever really happen is unclear, and probably unnecessary.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. BobBananas
    Jun 9, 2005
  2. BadLuCkbRam
    Aug 31, 2004
    i'm an indonesian n my respond 4 this album: i think this album is this album show the real character of Bad Religion music.Brave,Wise n Grow Up puNkRoCk that i called. Bad Religion was mediator to telling the Truth about side of life!!! Expand
  3. Loki
    Jun 28, 2004
    This album has taken over my stereo. Aside from showing crap-filled "bands" like good charlote, new found glory, and all those other poseurs what punk is all about, this album is perfect for times like these. While the album stumbles a bit on tracks without a message, like "LA is Burning", when they get fired up, this is some of the finest punk you'll ever hear. Favorite tracks: "Let Them Eat War", "The Empire Strikes First", "Atheist Peace" Expand
  4. Steve
    Jul 18, 2004
    The Empire Strikes First is easily one of my favorite CD's from Bad Religion. For me it ties with 'The Process of Belief' and only trails ' Stranger Than Fiction' as far as what i consider their best. The political theme and heavy Orwell influence with the lyrics is easy to see and it helps and is well appreciated in these times. I am not a left-winger, however the theme and mood of the album is something that even us who are in the center can appreciate without being bashed as Bush haters. As far as albums this year go, only 'Rock Against Bush' is probably more obvious in its political leanings this year. Well, so far. Expand
  5. Dan
    Mar 22, 2007
    I think i have listened to this cd a dozen times in the past 24 hours and each time i find myself singing along, fist in the air. Let them Eat War is my new favorite Bad religion song. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jul 11, 2005
    Bad Religion is one of the few "older" bands that has managed to retain its sound, message, and dignity. Empire is no exception to this statement, though this is by no means their best album. Expand
  7. Member27
    Jun 21, 2004
    Same crap as their other albums. Left wing politics translated into psuedo-insightful obtuse lyrics put to the tunes of some awesome punk music. The lyrics totally ruin the experience of Bad Religion and no matter how good the music is, and it is good, I will never be able to like them because of it. Not that I am a right-winger or anything, I just find their lyrics to be awfully patronising and instead of constructing a lyrical arguement they are reasonless blind protests against very tired targets. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews