Bad Religion's Prog Record - Into The Unknown

I've been chatting with some friends about whether or not Into the Unknown, Bad Religion's 1983 second album is any good. Of course that's a matter of personal taste and this bizarre departure into '70s-inspired progressive rock, with keyboards, synths & acoustic guitar, is certainly nothing the punk scene was going to go for at the time and is not at all like their hardcore stuff. Rumor has it the rhythm section walked off the recording sessions pretty early and the band broke up temporarily after this. The band didn't believe their existence would last and made a goofy record that guitarist Brett Gurewitz has described as "a terrible misstep", although they were certainly fans of prog even before starting the band.

Personally, I like it even if there are a few corny moments. "The Dichotomy", in particular, is a fun one with it's cheesy hard-rock moves and the spacy synth washes. I detect some Kansas & Yes influence on the record, as well as the notes naming Kurt Vonnegut. A lot of this sounds like '70s rock, but I like that kind of thing. Of course, it must be noted that I particularly like daring albums like this that are a clear departure from anything a band does. But that's 'cause I'm a weirdo like that. The band mostly disowned the album and now it goes for a bit of cash, although it was in the band's retrospective box set. 

What do you think?

Tagged: Bad Religion, classic albums, prog, punk, rock

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  • Jon on

    My favourite outcast album ever. I wish all cursed or dismissed albums from any band would be like this one. Yes, the production is terrible and keyboards sound too cheesy, but the songwriting is excellent and musically is incredibly varied. Best song: Losing generation.
    Ah and I love lots of “classical hardcore” BR songs but Into the Unknown is the only album of this band which I appreciate as a whole bunch.Greetings from an Spanish fan

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