Rise Against – The Sufferer And The Witness: An Emotional Turning Point
Battle-hard and ready for the fight, Rise Against truly grew into a behemoth act when they released their seminal album The Sufferer And The Witness in 2006. Yes, they developed many punk discs prior to the landing, and these records were raw and revealing, truly testing the punk scene. Not only did they entice many fans to the party, but they drew out political blood, and created a landmark sound. In time, though, the band escalated beyond the brashness and found their way into more subtle terrains.
Punk has always been a mainstay in Rise Against’s makeup, but with The Sufferer And The Witness they implemented newly drafted sounds and melodic importance. This disc morphed into something massive, colossal in its armory of songs. Lead singer Tim McIlrath also sang with newfound vigor, lashing the world with his political leanings and fists of rage. Throughout the album, the songs all came together as one blast of anger. This did not taint the progression. It made it urgent, real, original, and timely.
And hearts and minds connected to the LP. People rushed forward into the band’s whirlpool of trust and energy, declaring The Sufferer And The Witness as the complete album, a record fortified with evocative traits and justified hope. It did not lapse or seize up either; it flew the flag for a band who were on the edge of something special. Blazing a trail is what Rise Against dreamt of doing, and they did so with intent.
13 songs made up the LP. Some louder than others, but they all had meaning. “Injection” was a stab in the light, a song with technicalities and lyrical swagger. McIlrath sang with anger spreading through his veins, he sang conveying mistrust and internal pain. It was a highlight, a true trademark sound. “Prayer And The Refugee”sparked controversy, but it was the song we needed. Well-formed notes and guitar riffs were graciously integrated and the meaning behind it resonated.“The Approaching Curve”was narrated beautifully, a monologue of unhappiness and smashed resolve. “Behind Closed Doors” sprang to life as a punk score. Brash percussion intertwined well with volatile guitar strokes. “Roadside” was the ballad. McIlrath sang evocatively, pushing his acoustic guitar to the sky. It was a lyrical and driven piece of melancholy. “The Good Left Undone” was a masterclass in punk and riveting lyrical meaning, pushing the boundaries for this forward-thinking band. With a meaty chorus and sincerity evolving at every moment, it was the main highlight on a record that oozed greatness.
Rise Against did not hold back their energy and commitment on The Sufferer And The Witness. Through and through, it was a perfect record that showed us a path of light.