CD review REFUSED ‘War Music’

(8/10) Refused hails from Umea, Sweden and the guys have a history that goes back to the early ‘90s. The quintet was founded in 1991, the starting point of a trip that included big moments and success as well as moments of parting ways and hiatus.

All the dynamic is now channeled into a new album that will bring extra energy into the grey days of autumn. Four years after ‘Freedom’ marked the return of Refused the new longplayer fires again on all cylinders. Ten new songs and a bit more than 30 minutes is needed to transfer the message.

Refused’s new album contains really good music and it includes a statement too. The guys have a political and philosophical vision that comes back on the album. Capitalism and patriarchy is what they want to overcome and it’s the first single release ‘Blood Red’ that describes it very clearly. Critic about the current state of the society and the connected commercialism is the overarching theme of the album and the guys practice what they preach. One of the ends of the band, the one in the late ’90s, was due to commercial success of their ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’. Integrity and believes have been more important than commercial success, leading to a stop of Refused. You can’t be more consequent than taking such a step.

Now that’s history and let’s come back to the new longplayer. ‘War Music’ is an aural slap in the face. Hardcore and Punk are the main pillars of Refused songs and although the opener starts calm and easy it’s the first riff that paves the way for the rest of the album. Aggressive Hardcore Punk is what REV001’ is about and there are many more tunes of this kind. ‘Turn the Cross’ is uncompromising and the grooving closer ‘Economy of Death’ speak a clear language too.

What adds excitement to the mix is the fact of Refused not only pushing the pedal to the metal. There are calmer moments like ‘Malfire’ being a well-placed break on the tracklist and the diversified ‘Death in Vännäs’ adds some extra variety to the album.

Refused’s new longplayer, their first for Spinefarm Records, combines great music with a clear message. The quintet doesn’t look for the quick win. The band is the outlet of energy, rage and a political believe. This album is true and real to the bone.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. REV001
  2. Violent Reaction
  3. I Wanna Watch the World Burning
  4. Blood Red
  5. Malfire
  6. Turn the Cross
  7. Damaged III
  8. Death in Vännäs
  9. The Infamous Left
  10. Economy of Death

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Hardcore/Punk

Release Date EU: October 18th, 2019



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