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Bad Religion

New Maps of Hell (Epitaph)

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Republican presidents always bring out the best in Bad Religion. New Maps of Hell is the sextet's first full-length in three years, and the disc ranks among its finest.

With renewed vigor, Bad Religion continues its fight against religious dogma and political ignorance, trading its long-standing idealism for straight-up rage. Singer Greg Graffin sums up his group's disenchantment on "New Dark Ages": "We're animals with golden rules/Who can't be moved by rational views."

Although the band tweaked its established sound with dirtier production and more guitar leads, the patented three-way harmonies and indelible melodies still dominate on the fist-pumping anthems "Requiem for Dissent," "Before You Die," and "Scrutiny."

These punk rock legends, however, aren't formulaic in a stale way; they're just consistently awesome. Twenty-seven years into its storied career, Bad Religion is more vital than ever.

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