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Bad Religion's New Maps Of Hell is a potent political statement: not that their entire existence as a punk rock band of long standing isn't a statement in itself, but Hell takes on the state of the nation, in no uncertain terms, one slashing chord at a time.
Founded in Southern California and flourishing on the punk rock scene in the '80s, Bad Religion has had its ups and downs personnel-wise but they have always remained faithful to their cause of anti-conformity. This edition of Bad Religion features its primary, principle members and founders, vocalist Greg Graffin and guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The pair have apparently buried the hatchet for good and for most of this decade have been dedicated once again to making tough, outspoken music with their band. Original bassist Jay Bentley is also on board and their line-up is rounded out by some old hands in the punk rock game, including guitarists Brian Baker (formerly of Minor Threat) and Greg Hetson (formerly of the Circle Jerks) and drummer Brooks Wackerman (whose sympathies are on the right side of punk).
"Requiem for Dissent," an anthemic chant, mourns the loss of freedom of speech and asks a new generation of dissenters to take a look around and start speaking up. The hardcore "New Dark Ages" questions the role that religion plays in the grand scheme of things. "Honest Goodbye" uses the kinds of melodic figures you might hear in the art-rock/alternative scene rather than in the hardcore camp.
The band's lofty, somewhat intellectual stance may seem at odds with their aggressive, testosterone-fuelled following but in today's world, it is a thinking person who may actually be an anomaly. Once again, Bad Religion find themselves speaking for those on the fringes -- the proverbial underdog.
"Heroes and Martyrs" zooms, dips and climbs the scale of hard pop-punk heights. "Before You Die"" trades on guitar riffing, a solid melody, and BR's famous "oozin' aahs" background choruses.
This is the 14th album for Bad Religion; you might think by now that its famously pop punk rock formula would have grown tired. And yet, they keep finding imaginative ways to breath life into what is becoming the other classic rock. Rather than a New Maps Of Hell, Bad Religion continue to chart punk rock's new frontier.
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|Number of Discs:||1|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.22|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||0.39 x 4.25 x 5.25|
|2.||Heroes & Martyrs|
|3.||Germs Of Perfection|
|4.||New Dark Ages|
|5.||Requiem For Dissent|
|6.||Before You Die|
|9.||Grains Of Wrath|
|13.||The Grand Delusion|
|16.||Fields Of Mars|
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