Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Refused - War Music

Refused are one of a kind. They emerged from one of the worlds most interesting hardcore scenes to become a band who permanently altered the nature of rock with their unique take on post-hardcore. Now they are back with their first record since 2015's comeback, Freedom. War Music is a masterful release, exploring different facets of the band and seeing these pioneers push the boundaries even further. In an era where Refused could just put out music aping The Shape Of Punk To Come, they instead opted for pure sonic absolution, redeeming their birthright as triumphant artists.

War Music is one of the most elegantly concieved rock and roll cum post hardcore offerings that I have heard in a good long while. While on the one hand they excited the listener with high energy choruses and potent lyrics, they also embrace more subtle elements. For whatever its worth - the production on War Music is some of the best in the bands career. It elegantly fuses the angry hardcore anthems with the more contemporary rock leaning elements. This makes for a record that provides a sort of top down look at one of the most interesting groups in rock. War Music continually impresses with the breadth it's able to combine in a logical way.

In brief - War Music is a thrilling offering. It's a statement of intent from a group who basically singlehandedly elevated the dialog around hardcore. If you care about heavy rock music or hardcore in any shape or form then this is an album that you are going to need to listen too. 2019 has been one of the best years for music ever, and Refused's contribution should not be forgotten. It speaks to the bands willingness to keep growing, even now that their status as bonafide rockstars is just about set in stone.

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