The Empire Strikes First

  • Record Label: Epitaph
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2004
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. One of its most charged and inspired records in years.
  2. Q Magazine
    70
    A thrill from first to last. [Aug 2004, p.106]
  3. Mojo
    80
    This is the band at their melodious best. [Jun 2004, p.112]
  4. Bad Religion sound more relevant than ever on their incendiary, political manifesto The Empire Strikes First.
  5. Spin
    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]
  6. Magnet
    80
    As potent and timely as anything it released during the Reagan era. [#64, p.83]
  7. Blender
    70
    Angrier than ever, Bad Religion aim punk's adolescent fury at grownup targets. [Jun/Jul 2004, p.134]
  8. Los Angeles Times
    75
    Even if some tracks unfold more like political manifestos than songs, Bad Religion has succeeded in expressing its outrage more eloquently while sustaining its musical muscle over the years. [6 Jun 2004]
  9. While not as edgy as The Process of Belief, it is more complex and better produced.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Oct 28, 2016
    9
    This is in my top three Bad Religion albums of all time. Sure, they did milk the whole, "George Bush sucks" cash cow, but who cares? ItThis is in my top three Bad Religion albums of all time. Sure, they did milk the whole, "George Bush sucks" cash cow, but who cares? It resulted in some very provocative and interesting lyrics, surely to capture the listener. Songs like, "Sinister Rouge", "Beyond Electric Dreams, "The Empire Strikes First", and "Social Suicide" show the band's tenacity, that they still have. The opener blasts you with double bass and Wackerman's superb drumming. The production quality is incredible, and everything about this album is great to me. I would've liked to hear some more slower songs, as they did very well with, "To Another Abyss", but I'm fine with that. One song that might be a little weak is, "The Quickening", but, its chorus saves it from flopping. Anyway, if you're a true Bad Religion fan, there's no excuse as to why you can't listen to this awesome album! Full Review »
  2. SteveH
    Feb 3, 2010
    6
    This is a solid album that does exactly what Bad Religion are supposed to do. It's melodic, it's angry, it gets to the point. Fans This is a solid album that does exactly what Bad Religion are supposed to do. It's melodic, it's angry, it gets to the point. Fans won't be disappointed. Full Review »
  3. Dan
    Mar 22, 2007
    9
    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 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. Full Review »