Refused Freedom Review

Refused – Freedom 

Vocals – Dennis LyxzÉn

Guitar – Kristofer Steen

Bass – Magnus Flagge

Drums – David Sandstrom  There`s suppose to be the two dots above the O in Sandstrom but I don`t know how to do that.

Produced and engineered by Nick Launay, recorded at Seedy Underbelly, Los Angeles.  Except Elektra and 366, 
produced and engineered by Sheelback and Michael Ilbert.  Recorded at Decibel Studios in Stockholm, Sweeden.

Freedom is Refused first album since The Shape Of Punk to come which was released in 1998.  The Shape Of Punk To Come was one of the most unique and influential albums of the great 90`s punk scene.  So when the band decided to get back together and make another album, the pressure to create another timeless album was immense.  The production on this album sounds great.  Dennis’s screaming comes through clear and loud. The guitars seem a little quiet on this album but that could be so you can hear everything else going on like keyboards, horns and even the tambourine.  The drums are good, but I prefer a louder snap on the snare drum on a punk album.

The album starts off with Elektra, a high energy throwback to exactly what Refused fans were looking for in this album.  Then you hear Old Friends/ New War.  Not what Refused fans were expecting to hear.  The song starts with this weird deep voice and moves into a slow catchy guitar rift.  I really like this song but it’s something I want to hear on an International Noise Conspiracy album.  Dawkins Christ, Destroy The Man and 366 (my favourite song on the album) are all great hardcore songs reminiscent of Refused previous albums.  However Francafrique,  War On The Palaces and Servants Of death belong on an International Noise Conspiracy album.  Thought Is Blood is a creative, progressive song you`d expect to hear as a closing song, but they slapped it in the middle and Useless Europeans is a long whiny finisher that leaves you feeling a little disappointed.

Being an International Noise Conspiracy fan, I really liked this album and would have rated it much higher if it was released as one.  However I didn’t find this was a great Refused album and I don`t think hardcore Refused fans will welcome the toned down melody that the band is putting out.  There are two types of songs on this album, so if you are a Refused fan definitely check out Elektra, and if you are an International Noise Conspiracy fan check out War On The Palaces.