Posted: July 8, 2015 by Soda in Refused, Sweden
REFUSED - FREEDOM album cover

REFUSED – FREEDOM album cover

So, REFUSED have returned. Fully, and completely with their new record entitled FREEDOM. It is a selection of 10 strong songs, fresh and powerful from a band that has become almost iconic at this point which borders on miraculous…for many different reasons. One being that they explicitly had said they would never reunite and two being from a band that was so dragged down and beaten during the height of their existence, it’s shocking that they even tamed the idea of a few reunion shows a couple of years ago, but they did, and it proved to be very positive and successful selling out large venues they normally could never have set foot in. They are one of those examples of a band that got huge when it was over, even releasing a DVD Refused Are Fucking Dead which basically documents their last year as a band and the terrible situations they were put in and had to deal with, from broken down venues to empty basements with little in attendance.

And well, stranger things have happened and now Refused is…well, big business. All this from a band that played their swan song in 1998 in the form of an album called The Shape Of Punk To Come, which is now highly regarded and sited as tremendously influential by critics and peers alike. The Shape Of Punk To Come showed a band teetering on the edge of brilliance and insanity all at the same time, a stream of consciousness whirlwind as subtle as a car crash.

Fast forward some 17 years later and the band has lit the flame once again with FREEDOM. Released by seminal punk label, Epitaph. The years have been kind to the foursome who show no signs of fatigue, side projects and disappointments aside they have delivered another fantastic record. Showcasing their signature tightness and smart songwriting both in instrument and lyric alike, singer Dennis Lyxzen has never sounded better.

Album opener and lead single, “Elektra” whips you into shape just 30 seconds in harkening back to classic REFUSED, “the time has come, there’s no escape”, those words ring true upon their return. Never afraid to explore any territory, FREEDOM even gives way to a few booty shaking tracks in “Francafrique” and “War On The Palaces” and we all know Dennis Lyzxen can cut a mean rug! “Destroy The Man” and “366” are REFUSED at their fiercest, sounding like tracks that could have easily landed on the groundbreaking The Shape Of Punk To Come.

Like them or not, REFUSED could have easily been the voice of a generation 20 years ago, or maybe that is yet to still be seen. Either way they will be heard, loud, clear and never ever disingenuous. REFUSED ARE FUCKING ALIVE!

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