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New Maps of Hell (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

It's one thing for a band to merely manage to stay together for 20-plus years, but it's an entirely different thing altogether to effortlessly remain relevant and vital along the way. Bad Religion has already proved their skill, releasing solid albums every few years for a while now, and New Maps of Hell is no different. It finds that the guys don't just still have it, but they sound god damn rejuvenated, bristling with electric energy and undeniable fervor — their sharpness ultimately a testament to all the years playing together, especially in the complementary songwriting skills of Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz. Though their discography is already ripe with anthems, this entire record is a call to arms, where Bad Religion, still obviously discontented by much around them, urge the apathetic to finally take a stand. The band's richly textured, melodic hardcore arrives in full force, sweet vocal harmonies and crisp rhythms melding into invigorating track after invigorating track. "Requiem for Dissent" is overt, calling to "raise the rebel from his grave," while other songs further zero in on usual topics like the never-ending war, dissatisfaction, and government corruption. Even amid Graffin's normal dose of scholarly observations, it's the music that really stands tall. Cuts like "52 Seconds" and "Murder" are quick jolts of pounding hardcore to get one's blood boiling. Elsewhere, the urgent professions of "Heroes & Martyrs," "New Dark Ages," and the excellently layered "Dearly Beloved" effectively kick in with charging guitars and machine gun drumming, relying more on big and tuneful choruses to get the fists in the air. Even when the band veers a bit from the blueprint, it works, and the raw and dirty "Honest Goodbye" — more like a '90s alternative rock song with emotion laid bare in Graffin's steady voice — is an absolute standout. Leave it to the graying punk rockers to inject a much needed shot of adrenaline into the scene and show the kids how it's still done. [The 2007 edition includes one bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

definitely worth the extra five bucks.

bad religion has shown once again that they still have their essential in-your-face punk spirit that everyone can get pumped up on after more than 25 years of work. featuring the origional album of new maps, the deluxe version includes a bonus set of the acoustic renditions of "won't somebody," "adam's atoms," "sorrow," 'skyscraper," "dearly beloved," "the god song," and "chronophobia." the acoustic versions of sorrow and dearly beloved are the main highlights of these acoustic tracks, while, relating back to the origional content of new maps, tracks "new dark ages," "before you die," "fields of mars," "grains of wrath," "dearly beloved," "requiem for dissent," and "honest goodbye" dominate the album with amazing force.

An Amazing Re-Issue

This album is a great addition to any Bad Religion fan’s library. With three new acoustic songs, how could you resist not buying it? The acoustic version of Skyscraper is the highlight of the album. It is downright haunting. It literary gave me chills the first time I listened to it. If you already have New Maps of Hell, definitely get the additional tracks that are only found on this version. But I would suggest you buy this album in a retail store so you get the bonus live DVD and artwork. Thank you Bad Religion for all of your wonderful music.

They Still Got It!!!

Possibly the greatest punk band of all-time, BR has led fans from the screeching hard-core of "How Could Hell Be Any Worse" through albums like "Suffer" and "No Control" to the Atlantic years and the departure of Brett Gurewitz then finally to "The Process of Belief" and "The Empire Strikes First". When "New Maps of Hell" came out last year, it did not disappoint long time fans. Now this re-issue of "New Maps" proves why BR has been consistently good, they're not afraid to do what they want, as Gurewitz says in the DVD he and Greg Graffin have been writing BR songs acoustically and are no comfortable to put these out there even if it isn't seemingly super-punk. From the name, to the logo, to the failed "Into the Unknown" to the move to Atlantic BR has never cared about what people think of them and that is the Punkest thing of all!!!


Formed: 1980 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all of the Southern Californian hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined their attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe for...
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