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. 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.
  2. Alternative Press
    60
    The songs have the urgency and vitriol we've come to expect from the band, but there's one major problem: the spit shine production. [Jul 2004, p.128]
  3. This is by no means a ‘bad’ album... and you’ll be hard-pushed to find a more topical anti-Bush punk album released this year, but after 20+ years and umpteen albums that - lets face it - haven’t really strayed much from their influential style, does anyone really need another Bad Religion album after this one?
  4. Despite Graffin and Gurewitz's intelligence and historical awareness, their artistic vision here suffers from oversimplification.
  5. The album is not a total loss, however. When Bad Religion turn to more interesting subject matter, the results are more than worthwhile.
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 »