The Process of Belief

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The Process of Belief
Left side of the image is black with a depiction of a family praying, while the right side of the image is white and features a science diagram.
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 22, 2002 (2002-01-22)
Recorded2001
StudioSound City, Westbeach Recorders
GenrePunk rock
Length37:10
LabelEpitaph
ProducerBrett Gurewitz, Greg Graffin
Bad Religion chronology
The New America
(2000)
The Process of Belief
(2002)
Punk Rock Songs
(2002)
Singles from The Process of Belief
  1. "Sorrow"
    Released: 2001
  2. "Broken"
    Released: April 22, 2002

The Process of Belief is the twelfth studio album by the American punk rock band Bad Religion. It was produced by its leaders Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz, and was released on January 22, 2002 through Epitaph Records. After touring in support of its previous studio album, The New America (2000), Gurewitz re-joined Bad Religion in 2001 after a seven-year hiatus. The band re-signed with Epitaph, and then began work on its first album for the label in over eight years. The album also marked the first album to feature Brooks Wackerman, who replaced former drummer Bobby Schayer.

The Process of Belief was another huge success (debuting at #49 on the Billboard 200 chart[1]) and it was well received by both critics and fans. The album has sold more than 220,000 units worldwide.[2] The Process of Belief features one of Bad Religion's well-known songs "Sorrow", the band's first to chart in the US in six years, since "A Walk" (from 1996's The Gray Race). "Broken", "The Defense" and "Supersonic" also received radio airplay, but all failed to make any national chart (although "Broken" reached #125 on the UK Singles Chart).

The album marked the return to the faster and more energetic songwriting style of Bad Religion's earlier albums, and many have compared it favorably to their past releases.[citation needed] Multiple songs of the album have become live staples of the band's shows, most notably "Sorrow".

Background and recording[edit]

Bad Religion released their eleventh studio album The New America in May 2000, through Atlantic Records.[3] Bassist Jay Bentley said there was one day where the label was dropping acts that had sold under 50,000 copies; he said that Bad Religion had sold around 61,000 but had told them: "Please throw us off too. I don't want to be a part of this anymore." Bentley said no one in the band was happy while making The New America, and had expected it to be their last album.[4] In January 2001, it was reported that Epitaph Records and Bad Religion founder Brett Gurewitz had re-joined the band. He had left the band in 1994 to focus his efforts on Epitaph; he previously wrote "Believe It" for The New America.[5][6] Alongside this, it was announced that the band had re-signed to Epitaph, who they left for Atlantic in 1993.[6] In May 2001, it was announced that drummer Bobby Schayer had sustained an inoperable rotator cuff problem, and had left the band as a result.[7]

Throughout June 2001, the band toured across Europe; in the same month, Brooks Wackerman, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies and the Vandals, joined the band as their next drummer.[8][9] In July 2001, the band said their next album would be titled The Process of Belief, and was planned for release in a few months' time.[10] Later in the month, the band recorded at Sound City Studios and Westbeach Recorders, both in Los Angeles, California, with Gurewitz and Graffin as producers.[8][11] Gurewitz was critical of the previous producers the band worked with, stating that he understood them better than anyone.[12] Billy Joe Bowers handled recording, while Jeff Mosis and Philip Brousard acted as assistant engineers.[11] In September 2001, Gurewitz mixed almost every track at Larrabee East except for "Epiphany", which was done by Jerry Finn.[11][13] Bob Ludwig mastered the album at Gateway.[11]

Composition[edit]

The Process of Belief is a punk rock album,[14] which was compared to Bad Religion's sixth and seventh studio albums, Generator (1992) and Recipe for Hate (1993).[15] The album's title was taken from a lyric in "Materialist", which Gurewitz felt summarizes the band's name fittingly.[13]

The opening track, "Supersonic", discusses the speed at which life changes.[16] "Materialist" is an anti-religious track; Gurewitz said it referred to "belief in God and the biological process that causes the belief in God."[13] "Kyoto Now!" is about the Kyoto Protocol to reduce Greenhouse gases and pollution.[16] "Sorrow" was inspired by the biblical figure Job, with Gurewitz saying it was "very difficult to account for suffering in the world from a theological perspective".[13] The song opens with a Police-esque ska beat, before switching to the band's typical melodic hardcore sound.[17] "Epiphany" is a mid-tempo song that talks about the negatives of self-examination.[16][18] "The Defense" is an attack on the Patriot Act, and features sitar playing from Mikaleno.[11][18] The opening guitar riff in "The Lie" recalled on the one heard in "I Want to Conquer the World", a track from the band's fourth studio album No Control (1989).[18] The closing track, "Bored and Extremely Dangerous", is about the issues facing pre-Columbine kids.[16]

Release[edit]

In August 2001, The Process of Belief was delayed from October 2001 to early 2002, which Bentley said was due to the Epitaph's aversion to releasing albums during the holiday season.[19] On October 5, 2001, the album's artwork was posted on the label's website.[20] On October 31, "Sorrow" was made available for free download through the label's website, followed by "Can't Stop It" on November 15, through eMusic.[21][22] On January 11, 2002, "Supersonic" was made available for free download through a microsite for the album. The Process of Belief was made available for streaming between January 18 and 22,[23] before it was eventually released on January 22, 2002.[24] To promote its release, the band held four releases shows across San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[25][26]

The music video for "Sorrow" was posted online on January 29, 2002.[27] On February 8, the band performed "Sorrow" on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.[28] Following this, the band embarked on tour of Europe in February 2002,[29] and a tour of the US in March, with support from Hot Water Music and Less Than Jake.[25] In April 2002, the band performed at the Groezrock festival in Europe.[30] "Broken" was released as a single on April 22, 2002; the CD version featured the non-album track "Shattered Faith", "Supersonic", and the music video for "Sorrow".[31] Three days later, the music video for "Broken" was posted on the band's website.[32] Between late June and mid-August, the group went on the 2002 edition of Warped Tour.[33] In September, the band performed at the Inland Invasion festival.[34] They were due to tour Australia and New Zealand in October; however, the trek was cancelled for unknown reasons.[35] In April and May 2003, the band embarked on a US west coast tour, with support from Sparta and Snapcase,[36] and headlined the Slam City Jam.[37] In September, the band went on another west coast tour, which included several multi-day shows in different cities.[38] Some of the shows were supported by the Living End, Maxeen, and Throw Rag.[39]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic74/100[40]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[41]
E! OnlineB+[42]
Entertainment WeeklyB[43]
Hot PressFavorable[44]
Ox-FanzineFavorable[45]
Pitchfork5.1/10[46]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[47]
RTÉ4/5 stars[48]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[18]
Yahoo! LaunchFavorable[14]

The Process of Belief was met with generally favourable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 74, based on 13 reviews.[40]

The staff at E! Online said Gurewitz's return to Bad Religion "prove[d] rejuvenating for all. With the combustible reunited dynamic" between Graffin and Gurewitz, "the band has energy and urgency anew".[42] RTÉ reviewer Harry Guerin said that despite the band members being double the age of modern acts, the album "finds them growing old gracefully and highlights how much a new generation needs their open-your-eyes anthems."[48] Entertainment Weekly write Jim Farber said the album had "catchier melodies and more breathlessly clever wordplay" than the band's previous releases.[43] Joachim Hiller of Ox-Fanzine rwote that the band hade "created the[ir] best album in years", having sidestepped the "mediocrity and insignificance" of their previous two "not really bad, but irrelevant albums".[45] Yahoo! Launch's Rob O'Connor called it "a MY-T-FINE punk rock album, chock full of swirling harmonies", though there was "no real surprises here".[14]

Phil Udell of Hot Press wrote that the band come across as "sounding as fresh and inspired as in their early days ... [with] sweet harmonies and a passionate belief in the power of music."[44] Rolling Stone writer Tom Moon said the album had "fourteen throttling songs designed to remind Sum 41's worshippers about the oft-neglected cerebral side of punk."[47] Slant Magazine contributor Aaron Scott found the album to be "supercharged with Gurewitz’s solid production and enough old school Bad Religion hooks to begin healing years of perceived misdirection," however, it was "not a big enough band-aid to cover all the cuts of time."[18] AllMusic reviewer Jack Rabid wrote that repeated listens of the album awards the listener with "brute, lashing power and wild honey melodies" that disarm "such critical impulses as efficiently as a martial arts master."[41] Pitchfork's Rob Mitchum found that on occasion, Graffin and Gurewitz display a "strong hook-writing ability"; however, the majority of the album was "indistinguishable from anything post-No Control".[46]

The Process of Belief peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 album chart,[1] and also number 1 on Top Independent Albums.[49] It became the first Bad Religion album to chart on the Irish Charts.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz.[11]

No.TitleLength
1."Supersonic"1:47
2."Prove It"1:15
3."Can't Stop It"1:10
4."Broken"2:55
5."Destined for Nothing"2:35
6."Materialist"1:53
7."Kyoto Now!"3:20
8."Sorrow"3:21
9."Epiphany"4:00
10."Evangeline"2:11
11."The Defense"3:53
12."The Lie"2:19
13."You Don't Belong"2:50
14."Bored and Extremely Dangerous"3:25

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per booklet.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Process of Belief's entry at Billboard.com". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Epitaph: Sound Sampler". AllBusiness.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The New America - Bad Religion | Release Info". AllMusic. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Carman, Keith (July 19, 2002). "Bad Religion: The Process Of Labels". Chart Attack. Archived from the original on February 19, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ White, Adam (January 23, 2001). "Mr Brett is Back… Almost". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b White, Adam (April 14, 2002). "Back to the Known". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ White, Adam (May 11, 2002). "Schayer Out, Baker still in…". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b "The Theological Songs". NME. May 18, 2001. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ White, Adam (June 9, 2002). "Brooks Wackerman is new Bad Religion Drummer". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ White, Adam (July 16, 2002). "Process Confirmed / New Bad Times". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b c d e f g The Process of Belief (booklet). Bad Religion. Epitaph Records. 2002. 86635-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ Hiller, Joachim (December 2001 – February 2002). "Bad Religion". Ox-Fanzine (in German). Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b c d Burrows, Alex (February 1, 2002). "Bad Religion on Punk, God and The Process Of Belief". Louder. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b c O'Connor, Rob (January 21, 2002). "Album Review - The Process Of Belief". Yahoo! Launch. Archived from the original on February 11, 2002. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Hiller, Joachim (December 2001 – February 2002). "Bad Religion The Process Of Belief LP/CD". Ox-Fanzine (in German). Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ a b c d Jamieson, Robert (June 20, 2002). "Bad Religion: The Process of Belief". PopMatters. Archived from the original on August 5, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Heller, Greg (November 28, 2001). "Bad Religion Ready 'Reunion' CD". Louder. Archived from the original on November 29, 2001. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ a b c d e Scott, Aaron (February 1, 2002). "Review: Bad Religion, The Process of Belief". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (August 14, 2002). "Bad Religion's". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on December 22, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Paul, Aubin (October 5, 2001). "New Bad Religion Album Cover On Epitaph.com!". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ White, Adam (October 31, 2001). "New Bad Religion MP3!". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ White, Adam (November 15, 2001). "New Process of Belief Track". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ White, Adam (January 11, 2002). "Bad Religion Microsite". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ White, Adam (November 3, 2001). "Process Of Belief Release Date Changed". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ a b Heisel, Scott (December 21, 2001). "Ever heard of Bad Religion? Neither have I, but I guess they're touring. Eh". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 14, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ White, Adam (January 5, 2002). "Conan the coolest!". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 14, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ White, Adam (January 29, 2002). "'Sorrow' Video Online". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Heisel, Scott (January 31, 2002). "Bad Religion to appear on Kilborn February 8th". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ White, Adam (January 8, 2002). "European Bad Religion Dates". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 14, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ White, Adam (February 18, 2002). "Groezrock Festival". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ Hocking, Matt (April 25, 2006). "Single Review: Bad Religon - Broken / Releases". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ White, Adam (April 25, 2002). "Broken video online". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (January 30, 2002). "Warped Tour '02 To Feature Bad Religion, NOFX, New Found Glory, More". MTV. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  34. ^ White, Adam (August 5, 2002). "Sex Pistols, Bad Religion, Social D and more play Inland Invasion". Punknews.org. Retrieved February 27, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ Heisel, Scott (September 18, 2002). "Bad Religion cancels Aussie tour". Punknews.org. Retrieved February 28, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ Heisel, Scott (April 4, 2003). "Bad Religion announces full Spring tour". Punknews.org. Retrieved March 5, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  37. ^ Heisel, Scott (March 19, 2003). "Bad Religion headlining Slam City Jam". Punknews.org. Retrieved March 4, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  38. ^ White, Adam (July 22, 2003). "Bad Religion September Shows". Punknews.org. Retrieved March 10, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  39. ^ White, Adam (August 18, 2003). "Living End US Dates, Album Delay". Punknews.org. Retrieved March 10, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  40. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for The Process Of Belief". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  41. ^ a b Rabid, Jack. "The Process of Belief - Bad Religion | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  42. ^ a b "Music - Bad Religion 'The Process of Belief'". E! Online. Archived from the original on February 10, 2002. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  43. ^ a b Farber, Jim (January 21, 2021). "The Process of Belief". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 15, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  44. ^ a b Udell, Phil (January 30, 2002). "The Process Of Belief - Music Review - Album". Hot Press. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  45. ^ a b Hiller, Joachim (December 2001 – February 2002). "Reviews: Bad Religion The Process of Belief LP/CD". Ox-Fanzine (in German). Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  46. ^ a b Mitchum, Rob (March 5, 2002). "The Process Of Belief - Music Review - Album". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  47. ^ a b Moon, Tom (February 14, 2002). "The Process of Belief : Bad Religion : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 30, 2005. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  48. ^ a b Guerin, Harry (February 14, 2002). "Bad Religion - The Process of Belief". RTÉ. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  49. ^ "Bad Religion's Artist Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09.

External links[edit]