Refused - 'Freedom'

7/10

Given the inner turmoil and explosive nature of Swedish punk band Refused, many would have thought this day would never come. Having spent the best part of the last fifteen years breaking up and making up, the idea of staying together long effort to produce a new album just seemed too far fetched. And while the initial impact and continuing effect of their last album 'The Shape Of Punk To Come' in 1998 still ripples through modern rock music, I guess now is as good a time as any to attempt to follow it up.

However when you first switch on 'Freedom', it feels almost like they never left. The album's opener and lead single 'Elektra' rips the record open in a combination of ferocious guitar work and blistering pace that sets the pace for the record ahead. Matching the enthusiasm and tenacity of their 90s selves, albeit without guitarist Jon F. Brännström, the album is exactly what any Refused fan would have liked to have seen from their comeback.

It may not stand up to the legacy that they set themselves up for, but 'Freedom' still has that biting political tone that seems very much at home in today's climate. They are still angry and still determined to take on anyone or anything in their way.

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