New Maps Of Hell (Dlx Ed)
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See all 24 tracks on this disc
2008 Deluxe version with DVD includes the original 16 song CD, along with seven new acoustic tracks recorded by principal songwriters Greg Graffin-vocals and Brett Gurewitz -guitars, plus three of the acoustic songs are new, written specifically for this release; the other four tracks are new acoustic versions of BR classics such as 2004's hit song "Sorrow" and the perennial favorite "Skyscraper." New Maps of Hell is Bad Religion's 14 full-length studio album (20th release overall). It celebrates the 25th anniversary of their first album How Could Hell Be Any Worse? The DVD with an hour-long live performance which has never been seen before, with music videos for NMOH's two singles "Honest Goodbye" and "New Dark Ages," behind-the-scenes footage of Brett and Greg the recording of the acoustic EP and more. 23 tracks.
Bad Religion has for years been considered by new crops of listeners to be a vital band because they're such OG hardcore kingpins. And while the band's justly revered--they've managed to stay together for almost 25 years, all while getting better and growing their audience--"political punk realness" is not where their strengths lie. As to their political numbers, they were never quite able to pen the sort of personal yet timeless anthems that the Minutemen or the Ex did, while in terms of 1-2-3-4 punch, you'd get far more visceral thrills from the first Damned single. Of course, Southern California punk bands injected bushels of melody and hooks into their songs, and B.R. added elements of metal and even psychedelia to their own taut tunes. Their fourteenth album to date, New Maps is a terrific sounding record; at least two-thirds of it begs many repeated listens. The album's second single, "Heroes and Martyrs," is exactly what the band does best. A tightly-coiled and super revved-up anthem, it pits the energy and fast Barre chord sound of the greatest hardcore with a delicious, poppy production and doubled-up backing vocals that brings to mind Queen (or at least Queens of the Stone Age), in the very best way. --Mike McGonigal --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The acoustic tracks are a treat (the acoustic version of Dearly Bloved is just as enjoyable as the electric version).
If you are tired of fluff on the radio and are looking for something with some substance, this is worth a listen.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm writing this review for those that have already purchased New Maps of Hell as I also purchased the album upon its release. But I also purchased the deluxe edition and I have to say... It's well worth the money.
All of the original songs are still intact on the CD as they were in the original release. In addition are seven acoustic tracks. Personally, I didn't buy it for those as I don't think the Bad Religion sound really fits well in an acoustic setting. But Greg has done some solo acoustic work and I know he's good at it. Time will tell whether I get into them.
What really stands out in my opinion is the DVD. If you have Bad Religion's Live at The Palladium, then you'll understand that a concert like that will cost around 20 bucks. Well this is no different. There's an entire concert filmed at the House of Blues in Vegas on this DVD. It consists of 22 songs and the production is actually quite good. It consists of old favorites like Modern Man, Generator, No Control, I want to Conquer the World, American Jesus, and a slew of others including tracks off of New Maps of Hell. It may not be as energetic as past concerts, but it's done very well.
There's also a documentary on the DVD of how Brett and Greg recorded the acoustic tracks. I don't much care for that, but others might. I may get into it eventually as the acoustic tracks may eventually grow on me after a few listens as I mentioned earlier.
In addition to the concert and documentary, there are two videos (New Dark Ages and Honest Goodbye) from the new album and footage to the making of New Maps of Hell. These are nice little treats as I've always loved Bad Religions videos. It's not like you're going to see these on MTV or VH1. Do they even play music anymore?
If all of this isn't enough, how about two double-sided posters you can hang on your refrigerator or walls? I've already displayed my love for the band and it shows every time someone walks over to the fridge to grab a beer.
And what's a Bad Religion album without the lyrics. It comes with an updated lyric booklet but with Brett and Greg's scratch marks throughout on separate pages. Much like what Suffer looks like, but also with computer-printed lyrics.
So in closing, please don't listen to the whiny little self-righteous kids who are complaining that they released a deluxe addition to New Maps of Hell and that it's just to increase sales. For those that don't have the album yet, they're getting a killer deal. Those that do have the album are still getting a great deal with all of the extra goodies. As far as I'm concerned, if they whine about it and refuse to buy it, then they're not true Bad Religion fans. And if they lack the money and actually want it... Well... They're just whining because their jealous.
On first listen, the sonic blasts and scathing lyrics elicit thoughts of their late 80's albums (No Control, Against the Grain) but the song structures and impeccable musicianship is something we have not heard from them since Into the Unknown, except here it is punk and not prog, and it is produced so slick you could slide off it.
A major achievement by a band that already has enough major achievements to retire with a great legacy. More younger acts should look to them and follow their maps through hell.
Grab yourself a neighbor's skeleton to lean upon, and prepare for the decent.
This record opens with a faux lo-fi hardcore tinged "52 Seconds" and keeps a slightly junky production throughout. Definitely worse production than the last couple - more like Stranger Than Fiction with lots of mid-range tones, but it sounds fairly analog. In some ways it sounds like they are going through the motions on this one - but at the same time, there are no duds like usual (The Quickening, Television)...pretty much every track is strong. I don't care for "Prodigal Son" too much, but whatever.
Faster and less dark than the last album, and angrier than Process of Belief - you can blind buy this one is you are a BR fan, not much has changed. I love it. Brooks still impresses as well.
That being said, this album is an astonishing achievement from an already well established and respected punk rock band. I haven't heard this type of energy from this band since the album "Generator" and I have to say that the mix of old and new is quite refreshing.