Endgame (Rise Against album)

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Studio album by Rise Against
Released March 15, 2011 (2011-03-15)
Recorded September 2010–January 2011 at The Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
Genre Punk rock, melodic hardcore[1]
Length 46:05
Label DGC, Interscope
Producer Bill Stevenson, Jason Livermore
Rise Against chronology
Appeal to Reason
Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers (2000–2013)
Singles from Endgame
  1. "Help Is on the Way"
    Released: January 25, 2011
  2. "Architects"
    Released: February 15, 2011
    (iTunes promotional single)
  3. "Make It Stop (September's Children)"
    Released: May 30, 2011
  4. "Satellite"
    Released: November 1, 2011
  5. "Wait for Me"
    Released: June 12, 2012
    (promotional single)

Endgame is the sixth studio album by the American punk rock band Rise Against. Produced by Bill Stevenson, it was released on March 15, 2011.[2] Rise Against began work on the album in September 2010, after completing touring in support of its previous album, Appeal to Reason, in mid-2010. The first single from the album, "Help Is on the Way" debuted on KROQ and KKDO on January 17, 2011, and was released on the band's MySpace and digital media outlets on January 25, 2011. The album has been certified platinum by the CRIA and Gold by the BVMI.

Background and recording[edit]

Following the commercial success of the band's fifth studio album, Appeal to Reason, and the subsequent touring to support the album, Rise Against entered The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado (the same studio where all their albums, except The Unraveling and Siren Song of the Counter Culture, were recorded) in September 2010 to begin recording their next album.[3] Rise Against finished recording the album in January 2011, after they recorded some last minute guest vocals for the album.

The album deals with "the end of humankind as we know it," with lyrics addressing world events and politics, including Hurricane Katrina, recent LGBT teen suicides, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to Tim McIlrath, "Endgame was a way to talk about the world in a different way than we have before. It is talking about the world from the perspective that it’s too late to recycle. It’s too late to drive a hybrid. It’s too late to decide whether you believe in global warming or not because global warming has devoured the planet."[4] Although the lyrics discuss grim topics, they actually take on a positive view and were written from the perspective of "What if the place on the other [side] of this transition is [a] place we'd all rather be living in?"[5]

Before the album's release, Spin Magazine labeled Endgame as a concept album and suggested that it may have been largely influenced by the Dixie Chicks, but on January 7, 2011, McIlrath tweeted a clarifying message stating that "the record is not a concept record and, fret not, has absolutely nothing to do with the Dixie Chicks."[6]

Endgame is notable for being the first album to establish Rise Against's stance against homophobia and bullying with the third song on the album, "Make It Stop (September's Children)", which references the September suicides of teenagers in the LGBT community, specifically mentioning Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Harrison Chase Brown, Cody J. Barker, and Seth Walsh. The album's seventh track, "Survivor Guilt", features dialogue from the film Catch-22, which was also in .baxter.'s song "Burden".

The album's liner notes recommends the documentaries Collapse, Capitalism: A Love Story, Countdown to Zero, and The Cove, as well as two books, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

Promotion and release[edit]

In a question and answer session with the Chicago Blackhawks, McIlrath stated that the album would be released in March 2011. On January 12, 2011, Interscope announced the release date of Endgame as March 15, 2011,[2] followed with an announcement the next day by FMQB that the first single from the album, "Help Is on the Way," would be officially released on January 25, 2011,[7] although it premiered on the radio station KKDO, as their featured song on a segment called "New Music Heaven" and also on KROQ, on January 17 at 5 p.m. PST.[8]

Endgame was released in Australia on Friday March 11, 2011.

"Help Is on the Way" was officially released on iTunes and other digital media outlets on January 25, 2011.

In order to promote the album, Rise Against played a show in London on March 16, 2011.[9] In addition, Rise Against played two South American shows in Brazil and Argentina in late February and a run of European shows in March.[10] After touring South America, and Europe, Rise Against were back in the United States in April (Bad Religion, who once toured with Rise Against in 2004, and Four Year Strong supported this tour).

WWE used "Help Is on the Way" as the official theme song to WWE Over the Limit 2011 and "Satellite" to promote the video game WWE All Stars while "Architects" appears in the Madden NFL 12 soundtrack.

"Help Is on the Way" appeared in the video games Watch Dogs, Dirt: Showdown and Shift 2: Unleashed.

On Tuesday June 21, 2011, Rise Against released a video to "Make It Stop (September's Children)"

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 78%[12]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[13]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[14]
Entertainment Weekly B[15]
NME (8/10)[16]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[17]
Rock Sound (9/10)[18]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[19]
Spin (5/10)[20]
Sputnikmusic (4/5)[21]

Critical reception to the album has been mostly positive, with the band praised for polishing the musical style from Appeal to Reason. Thomas Nassiff says "Rather than returning to their old form, the band solidifies an evolved style with this record."[12] Rock Sound's review called the album "bona fide awesomeness".[18] IGN gave it a 9 out of 10 and stated, "It is an album full of important messages, with none greater than our inability and unwillingness to see the signs of our impending doom over a blend of chunky, thrusting riffs and nimble, wiry guitar of purposive apocalyptic "Endgame". The melodic bliss hidden in the hammering riffs on powder keg "Satellite" and chugging "This Is Letting Go" is what makes this a tough album to resist for even those not accustomed to the staggering punk package it wraps it all up in."[22] Blare Magazine gave it a three-and-a-half out of five stars and stated, "Letting past busts fade into nothing, the Chicago punk rockers have rediscovered their edge. Ignore the five year gap and Endgame surfaces, issuing healthy doses of aggression and narrations tracing paramount concerns."[23]

Although many critics have praised the polished sound, some critics feel as if Rise Against have gotten too far away from their punk roots. Kenny Herzog of Spin was critical about the single "Architects" saying "as soon as frontman Tim McIlrath bridges the half-time breakdown of "Architects" by earnestly imploring, "Don't you remember when you were young / How you wanted to set the world on fire" (echoing Against Me!'s "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" almost word for word), the singer-guitarist just sounds like he's trying to win back an ex-girlfriend."[20] Crave Online gave it five out of ten and stated, "Chicago rockers Rise Against have bridged the three year gap between albums with Endgame, a safe, slick twelve-song offering that amounts to more of the same: verses heavy with sociopolitical condemnation in a build-up to bombastic, wailing choruses and a raging "fight for the fire of truth" message under an armageddon of beats and nu-punk riffage. [...] Rise Against isn't cramming their ethical philosophy (straight-edge, vegetarian, PETA supporting, etc.) down our throats, but the artistic cruise-control and bombastic gimmickry dilutes any grander underlying message or cause. [...] Where is that fire of pure artistic reflection now? We're sold wholesale on what passes for passion, we're herded to the designated purveyors of product with open arms and voices crying "we're with you" in unison, but there is no real cause here. There is, in its wake, a highly fertile ground of commercial youth angst."[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

Endgame is Rise Against's highest charting album on the US Billboard 200, debuting at no. 2 and selling 85,000 copies in its first week.[25] It's also the band's first album to enter the UK top 40 album chart, debuting at no. 27.[26]

In Canada, the album debuted at #1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 17,000 copies.[27]

As of December 2013, the album has sold around 500,000 copies in the US alone.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Tim McIlrath, all music composed by Tim McIlrath, Joe Principe, Brandon Barnes and Zach Blair.

No. Title Length
1. "Architects"   3:42
2. "Help Is on the Way"   3:57
3. "Make It Stop (September's Children)"   3:55
4. "Disparity by Design"   3:49
5. "Satellite"   3:59
6. "Midnight Hands"   4:18
7. "Survivor Guilt"   4:00
8. "Broken Mirrors"   3:55
9. "Wait for Me"   3:40
10. "A Gentlemen's Coup"   3:46
11. "This Is Letting Go"   3:41
12. "Endgame"   3:24
Total length:


Release Dates[edit]

Region Date
Australia March 11, 2011
United Kingdom March 14, 2011
Canada March 15, 2011
United States[2]

Chart history[edit]


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Endgame - Rise Against". AllMusic. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rise Against : News : Endgame". Interscope. January 12, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ k0linn (September 13, 2010). "Rise Against enter the studio to record next album". Punknews.org. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ Nemiroff, Lonnie (May 17, 2011). "Interview: Tim McIlrath Shows There Is No Limit For Rise Against". shockya.com. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ O'Donnell, Kevin (December 22, 2010). "First Look at Rise Against's Upcoming Album". Spin. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
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  8. ^ Rise Against: Tune in to @kroq today at 5pm pst to hear Tim debut our new single Help Is On The Way
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