User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 2 out of 21

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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. 80
    As potent and timely as anything it released during the Reagan era. [#64, p.83]
  2. 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. 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.