10 YEARS ON: ANTI-FLAG – FOR BLOOD AND EMPIRE


for blood and empire

Editor's Rating

Perfect punk-rock album in my opinion. Have a listen to 'Depleted Uranium Is A War Crime'

10
Rating out of 10

10 Years on: Anti-Flag -For Blood and Empire

Release Date: 21st March 2006

RCA

Reviewing the reissue of The Decline‘s ‘Are You Gonna Eat That’ sparked a decision to revisit some albums hitting their tenth anniversary this year. To start this series off I have chosen to look into Anti-Flag‘s ‘For Blood And Empire’ album as one of my favourite punk-rock albums of all time. I’ll mostly be looking into how that album affected the band and how it stands up today.

For starters, I believe that ‘For Blood And Empire’ has been the best album from the political punks so far. While the band was rather well-known, at least in the States, the fifth studio album is what really pushed Anti-Flag into the limelight. Popular hits such as ‘The Press Corpse’ and ‘One Trillion Dollar$’ gained the band a lot of listeners across the globe.

How does it still sound today? This album is still as hooking as it was when we first heard it. From the energetic opener ‘I’d Tell You But…’ to the epic album closer ‘Depleted Uranium Is a War Crime’. Even live it seems that songs from this album get the best response, ‘This Is The End'(For You My Friend)’ has become a firm fan favourite along with ‘Cities Burn’.

The politically charged album opens our eyes to the shit going on in world affairs. It certainly opened mine when I was in my teens, it was one of the first albums that really made me aware of this form of protest song. It then led me to hunt out more bands and songs where artists unleashed their angst-ridden view about the world and the fucked up society that some people would rather ignore. The desire to send a message to anyone that would listen really stuck with me.

What stands out most to me is the lack of filler songs on ‘For Blood And Empire’ whereas each following album from Anti-Flag struggled to maintain that same high quality. 2009’s ‘The People Or The Gun’ has been the closest so far in delivering an album that sounds great for the majority.

What also helps is the variety in punk-rock styles throughout the album. ‘State Funeral’ is angry and full of fire, it’s that grabs you by the throat to get your attention. Then there are songs like ‘1 Trillion Dollar$’ and ‘This Is The End'(For You My Friend)’, which even though they are full of strong political beliefs topically, musically they are chilled out. Then you have ‘I’d Tell You But…’ and ‘The Press Corpse’ as two of the catchiest punk songs ever written. All the “Woah” chants!

If I was to review this album, I’d give it a 10/10 for how many times I’ve listened to it over the years and it remains a solid listen the entire way through without skipping tracks. If there is one Anti-Flag album I recommend it’s this one. In fact, when it comes to punk albums in general, there aren’t many I would suggest before this album.

For fans of: NOFX, Bad Religion, Rise Against, The Unseen

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Makky Hall

About the Author Makky Hall

I am driven by live music, in my mid-teens I got an early taste for it going to local shows and now there is not a moment where I don’t have a future gig lined up. I have always been a huge fan of punk and metal, I can thank The Offspring for opening my eyes to a more alternative side to music. Recently my tastes have been strongly based in hardcore, especially in the UK hardcore scene over the last few years. I am currently a student of a Music Journalism degree at BIMM based in Brighton, with an end goal of working in an industry that has always interested me.

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