Could it be fate? It must be fate! As I set out on starting to review the albums in my collection I was curious what my first review would be. My worry was that the random selection would draw an album from my collection that I wasn’t fond of, and I would lose motivation to carry on with this project.
Well my friends, I’m happy to say that isn’t the case. In fact, as luck would happen I’ve drawn my most listened to album in my collection (as per iTunes play count)! The first album to be reviewed is…
Rise Against - The Sufferer and the Witness
Wikipedia Synopsis: (Full article)
The Sufferer & the Witness is the fourth album by American punk rock band Rise Against. The album was released on July 4, 2006. It was their second release on major label Geffen Records, following 2004’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture. It sold 48,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #10 on the Billboard 200. The album has been ceritified gold by the RIAA and platinum by the CRIA.
Discovery: I’ve been a huge Rise Against fan for many years so it was only natural to add this album to my collection. Bonus points that made me excited for this album was that the first single was filmed in Vancouver, BC.
Ranking: Rise Against has 5 studio albums at the time of writing. Because they are one of my favorite bands it’s really difficult to rank the albums, but this one ranks somewhere in the middle.
Rating: 4 stars
Favorites: Chamber The Cartridge, Bricks, Drones, Survive
I remember very distinctly when I added this album to my library. I was heading up Vancouver Island for a Maylong weekend camping trip and I was in search of some fresh tunes. I was excited to get the album the night before and proceeded to listen to it twice on the drive up, multiple times on my iPod by the campfire (completely ignoring the social-ness of camping) and on the drive back home.
The album explodes open with Chamber the Cartridge, arguably one of my favorite Rise Against songs of all time. In fact it’s the highest played track in my iTunes library with 103 plays, and likely countless more on my iPod and in my vehicle. In the song, Tim McIlrath questions:
Can we be saved, has the damage all be done? / Is it to late to reverse what we’ve be become?
The Sufferer and the Witness is arguably the album that propelled Rise Against into mainstream rock. Ready to Fall was a massive radio hit, and Prayer of the Refugee got the Guitar Hero status. It used to be one of my favorites, unfortunately I find myself skipping it. Regardless, the album has a great flow from beginning to end.
On Bricks, which is the albums fastest (and shortest track), McIlrath sings:
We’re setting our fires to light the way / We’re burning it all to begin again / With hope in our hearts / And bricks in our hands / We sing for change
The album closer, Survive, is a motivating tune that simply states:
How we survive, is what makes us who we are.
I’ve always found this album to be very inspiring lyrically. Whenever I was going through tough times I could throw this album on and it would begin to turn my perspective around.
As mentioned in the intro this is one of the top played albums in my library, up there with Thrice’s Artist in the Ambulance and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Stadium Arcadium. I really wanted to give this album five stars, I really did. But with a few floundering tracks like I mentioned above I had to drop it to 4 stars. I also didn’t want to start my review blogs with a 5 star review, that would be setting the bar way too high! Still this album is definitely worth adding to your collection.
That’s all for my first review, be sure to keep checking in as we journey through Dilly’s Albums!