Hailing ‘From The North’ (see what I did there?) of Sweden, hardcore punk outfit Raised Fist have released their sixth full-length and, all bad puns aside, a few listens of the record is enough to make the listener realise just why the five-piece have lasted 22 years and are still going strong.
Six years on from their last release, 2009’s ‘Veil of Ignorance’, the band seem to have taken a step back and found the same fury, the same passion, the same drive that dripped from their earlier releases. Album opener ‘Flow’ is a brutally melodic sonic statement of intent, followed by the equally groove-driven ‘Chaos’. Vocalist Alexander ‘Alle’ Hagman’s vocals are spat out over the band’s signature jarring riffs; the aggression in his voice powers songs like ‘In Circles’, which leads into an instant catchy punk anthem – ‘We Will Live Forever’.
A couple of songs on the album are slightly weaker in comparison to the first half – ‘Depression’ and ‘Ready To Defy’ don’t quite seem to hit the same mark as previous songs, but standout track ‘Gates’ picks up the proverbial slack; clocking in at just over 2 minutes, it’s a barrage of furious indignation, and perfectly sets up the ending of the album. Album closer ‘Unsinkable’ is a song that captures the Swedish quintet in one word. Two decades and counting into their career, the band have proved that not only do they still have what made them so special in the first place, but they can still show others how hardcore punk is done.
– Iqra Choudhry
Venue: From The North
Support Band: Epitaph Records