Album Review: Refused – Freedom

Freedom by Refused

#aotd is Freedom by Refused. Musically this album blends a few sounds together but all things considered it is a rock ‘n roll album with tonnes of punk and hardcore flair. As far as disbanded bands go, Refused were never a band that really needed to reform and for some diehard fans this albums existence shits on the legacy the band established for themselves in the 90’s. I for one don’t bother with such pretensions, if a band want to make new music, fuck it of course they should. First thing’s first, no this does not come close to the level of greatness the band reached on their much celebrated album “The Shape of Punk to Come”. What the band does come through with on Freedom is a collection of pretty great, politically charged, punk-rock songs which have a neat retro flavour. The album starts on a high note with the single “Elektra” which has a huge explosive riff and a rousing chorus and just sounds huge. Refused are at their best when they are playing aggressively and it is pretty evident that despite the rock theatrics on this album they are still a hardcore band at heart. The song “366” has a riff uncannily similar to the title track off “The Shape of Punk to Come”, this paired with a sprinkling of the intensity also found on that album makes this the standout track of the album. Despite some of the wicked riffs and traces of that old school intensity, the album does fall off slightly when it tackles some of the more traditional rock aspects. “Servants of Death” attempts at sounding groovy feel watered down by the production which favours louder, faster guitars. The production also feels a bit off on “Françafrique” due to the overly loud guitars hogging the mix, this song also takes a page out of Muse’s book with its overly straight-forward lyrical approach. Freedom is a pretty damn solid punk rock album that occasionally stumbles by not focussing on its obvious strengths but is practically irresistible at its best, definitely a must listen for anyone into the genre.
Rating: 3.7/5


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