Raised Fist

Sound Of The Republic

Written by: PP on 06/04/2006 18:47:53

The seminal Swedish hardcore group Raised Fist has returned after a three year break with yet another politically charged masterpiece, "Sound Of The Republic". The first impressions of the album include feeling of wanting to hide below your bed scared as fuck, the sudden need for earplugs, and confusion over just what it exactly is that the band is trying to achieve with their sound of sheer brutality.

The album opens with "You Ignore Them All", which introduces the new listeners to Alle's unmelodic, angry, hate-filled vocals, which are being fired up with a pace of about 1500km/h, an experience which can be compared to being punched in the face roughly one hundred times in one minute. The vocals are the most in-your-face aggressive work you'll ever come across, and even the most hardcore metalheads will need a significant amount of time to get adjusted to the style and brutality of them. It's as if Alle doesn't feel the need to breathe at all, as the vocals are being fired up at an extreme pace leaving barely any room for him to catch his breath. The title track is one of the few tracks on the album which features any singing at all, and when it only occurs during the choruses, it gives you just a few second break before the next punch is heading towards your nose.

"Perfectly Broken" is easily the best track on the album. It showcases the most variety, ranging from the nearly rapped out vocals to softer (still screamed) vocals on top of dark melody that is still ever so catchy. "Killing It" is another track that attempts the same structure and has that odd, twisted melody that shouldn't sound nice but it does anyway- kind of sound. And curiously enough, this is exactly what Raised Fist is trying to achieve. They won't give you the obvious melodies like Rise Against, nor the obvious unmelodiousness of Norma Jean. Instead, they're giving you something in between, something that you can't quite decide over in the first couple of listens. You tilt your head both ways, change your mind five times, but even so always come back to the same conclusion: these songs rock.

And this is the underlying strength of "Sound Of The Republic". It's not its meaningful political and social messages á la Bad Religion or Pennywise. It's not the uniqueness of the vocals either. It's simply the fact that all of the tracks on the album are hidden gems of sheer quality and longevity. They are the kind of tracks you'll wanna be listening to in a years time and you'll still be finding new aspects you didn't notice before, despite the fact that they aren't very technically challanging or long, memorable epics like the case usually is with albums worth listening to for months in a row. "Sound Of The Republic" may well be one of the best hardcore albums to be released this year, but with the likes of Norma Jean on the schedule for later on in the year, it's still too early to tell. But don't hate me when I say I told you so.


Download: Perfectly Broken, Herz Island Escapades
For the fans of: Hatebreed, Bane, Comeback Kid
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.04.2006
Burning Heart

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