Published Jun 26, 2015Seventeen years ago, legendary Swedish hardcore act Refused released their aptly titled album, The Shape of Punk to Come, which would go on to alter the course of heavy music and inspire a number of new bands and subgenres in the years following its release. Their first post-reunion work, Freedom, proves that even after nearly two decades apart, their remarkable energy, songwriting ability and bold political statements have not faded.
With Freedom, Refused pay greater attention to melody, employing sticky guitar hooks and clean vocals mixed in with Dennis Lyxzén's signature screams to create a captivating, chaotic medley of sound. "Elektra" and "Dawkins Christ" are examples of the more driving, straightforward headbangers found on the ten-song set, whereas "Destroy The Man" makes use of detailed syncopation and polyrhythmic moments to add layers of intricacy. A solid listen front to back, Freedom is the album fans have been waiting for, and proof that Refused are most certainly not "fucking dead." (Epitaph)